Minsk, 15 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, says the acting head of its mission in Belarus has been ordered to leave the country. The OSCE said the Belarusian Foreign Ministry had refused to extend the visa and diplomatic accredition of acting head Michel Rivollier, who says he plans to leave Belarus by midnight.
Antonio Martins da Cruz, the OSCE's chairman in office, said in a statement that the organization is discussing the further work of its observers group in Belarus. He said the decision has had a decidedly negative impact on the OSCE's relations with the country's government.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has not commented on the decision.
Belarusian authorities barred an OSCE representative from the country earlier this year and have accused the organization of supporting the political opposition.