Lithuania recalls five more diplomats from Belarus

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania is recalling five diplomats from Minsk, with a government spokeswoman saying Belarus had demanded that a total of 11 diplomats be sent home. Last week, Lithuania recalled its ambassador to Belarus for consultations under pressure from Minsk. Belarus did the same for its ambassadors to Lithuania and Poland. In a tit-for-tat move, Minsk also demanded that the two countries reduce their diplomatic staff. Vilnius has been a harsh critic of the events in its southern neighbor which is also a former Soviet republic. Lithuania also has granted shelter to Belarus opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and spearheaded sanctions against Belarusian leaders.