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Russia’s natural gas supplies are potent economic weapons in the crisis with Ukraine – and in Russia’s relations with other eastern European countries and the European Union.

The Lukashenka regime’s decision to force Sweden to close its embassy in Belarus for its support of human rights and alleged contact with opposition groups is the most recent example of the outrageous behavior of the government in Minsk and underscores the need to adopt stronger measures against Europe’s last dictatorship. Freedom House and the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) urge other European countries to show solidarity with Sweden in its efforts to draw attention to human rights abuses in Belarus.

Freedom House finds unacceptable the expulsion of the Swedish Ambassador to Belarus on August 3. Ambassador Stefan Ericsson may have been expelled in what many regard as Lukashenka’s retaliation for the teddy bear drop incident that took place on July 4.

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