Belarus has kicked out French Ambassador to Belarus Nicolas de Lacoste amid poor relations with the European Union over strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka's brutal rule.
The ambassador -- who took up his post just last year -- departed on October 17 at Belarus's request, the French Embassy in Minsk confirmed to RFE/RL.
De Lacoste had avoided contact with Lukashenka after the authoritarian leader cracked down on peaceful protesters following the August 2020 presidential election.
Belarusian police have jailed thousands of citizens over the past 14 months and tortured hundreds for their opposition to Lukashenka’s rule, sparking tough sanctions by the European Union.
The ambassador’s farewell address to the Belarus people will be posted tomorrow, the French Embassy said.