The OSCE has launched informal consultations on the resumption of its mission in Belarus; the mandate of which Minsk refused to extend on the 31st of December. This was announced on Monday by the chairman of the OSCE, and the the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Audronius Azhubalis.
The OSCE Mission has worked in Minsk since 1998, its mandate should be renewed every year by all the 56 countries of the organization.
President Alexander Lukashenko sharply criticized the position the OSCE held towards Belarus regarding the December 19 presidential elections, which he won.
On December the 31st the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus stated that further work by the office of the organization in Minsk had no objective grounds.