Belarus has told the United States to reduce its embassy staff in Minsk and revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as the ambassador in response to the latest sanctions by Washington, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Iran PressEurope: In a coordinated move with Britain and Canada, Washington on Monday slapped new sanctions on several Belarusian individuals and entities with the aim of overthrowing Lukashenko's government. 

A foreign ministry spokesperson said in a comment posted on the ministry website that Minsk had informed the United States it wanted embassy staff reduced to five people by Sept. 1, describing this as "our reaction to their unfriendly and even aggressive actions."

Sworn in as the US Ambassador to Minsk last December, Fisher has not yet been able to enter Belarus, which initially dragged its feet on issuing her a visa.

"Against the background of Washington's actions to reduce cooperation in all spheres and the economic strangling of our country, we objectively do not see a reason for the American diplomatic mission to keep high staff numbers in Belarus," the ministry said.

Alexander Lukashenko won the 2020 presidential election with more than 80 percent of the votes.

For the past year, the United States and its European allies have been urging the pro-Western opposition to overthrow the Minsk government by questioning the legitimacy of Belarus' 2020 presidential election.

The United States and the European Union are the main supporters of the Belarusian opposition.

European countries and the United States are trying to overthrow the anti-Western Alexander Lukashenko government by imposing sanctions and supporting the opposition in Belarus. 219

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