Nicolas de Bouillane de Lacoste, who had been the head of the French embassy since the fall of 2020, left Belarus on 17 October 2021 at the behest of the official Minsk. The reason for such actions of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry was presumably the reluctance of the French ambassador to present his credentials to Alexander Lukashenko. Nicolas de Lacoste only handed copies of his credentials to Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei. France, like other EU countries, has not recognized the results of the 2020 presidential election and Lukashenko’s claim to a sixth presidential term.
The French Foreign Ministry announced “proportionate measures in relation to the Belarusian diplomatic mission in France”. Belarusian Ambassador to France Ihar Fisenka was recalled to Minsk for consultations.
According to the decision of the French Foreign Ministry, de Lacoste will assume the role of special envoy for Belarus starting on 18 October 2021, and the French embassy in Minsk will continue to work. France will continue to support the Belarusian people and look for a solution to the political crisis in the country.
In a message to the Belarusian people, Nicolas de Lacoste assured: “Know that we will stay by your side. We urge you to never give up hope for better days. See you soon!”