Belarus appoints new ambassador to Sweden ending ‘teddy bear spat’

Author (Person)
Series Details May 2018
Publication Date 23/05/2018
Content Type

Further information:

On 22 May 2018, the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko appointed Dmitry Mironchik as the new ambassador to Sweden. It is the first time in six years that Belarus revives ties with Sweden after the teddy bears airdrop occurred in 2012.

Background information:

On 4 July 2012, a small airplane chartered by a Swedish public relations firm (Studio Total) took off from Lithuania and illegally entered the airspace of Belarus dropping around 800 teddy bears over Minsk. The teddy bears carried cards and notes with pro-democracy, and pro-freedom of speech messages, urging the government to protect human rights.

Belarus took more than three weeks to confirm the teddy bear incident had taken place. Lukashenko subsequently sacked his air defense chief and reprimanded the state security agency for lapses in vigilance.

The Belorussian government reacted to the airdrop expelling in August 2012 the Swedish ambassador and closing its own embassy in Stockholm.

Related Links
EurActiv, 23.05.18: Belarus ends ‘teddy bear spat’ with Sweden, names envoy
The, 23.05.18: Belarus ends diplomatic 'Ice Age' with Sweden six years after teddy bear spat
Reuters, 22.05.18: Six years after teddy bear row, Belarus revives ties with Sweden
President of the Republic of Belarus: Press Release: Belarus President makes new appointments

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