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Belarus Orders Out U.S. Professor

18 July 2005 -- Belarus today gave a U.S. professor at a state university 24 hours to leave the country -- three days after ordering out a European diplomat.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Vanshina said the state's institutions had refused to extend professor Terry Boesch's registration. She declined to elaborate and the U.S. embassy declined to comment.

Boesch denounced the move, saying Belarus was trying to rid itself of Western influence before presidential elections in 2006.

"The Belarusian government denied my visa and ordered me to leave the country on the same day. But the government kept my documents and visa so I cannot leave the country until I get them back. I have been here for two years and I have shown by my behavior and teaching that I am trying to help the Belarusian people," Boesch said.

The government said on 15 July it has given Andrzey Buczak, an advisor at the Polish Embassy in Minsk, until 21 July to leave the country in retaliation for the expulsion of a Belarus diplomat from Poland.