Sweden Tacitly Apologizes for Teddy Bear Invasion

It probably seemed funny at the time. According to the Associated Press:

The Swedish Foreign Ministry says it is sending a diplomat to Belarus after its ambassador was expelled last year following a Swedish advertising agency’s stunt air-drop of hundreds of teddy bears into the former Soviet state.

Belarus did not officially cite the July 4 pro-human rights teddy bear drop as the reason for closing the Scandinavian country’s embassy and barring the envoy but its authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, was quoted as accusing Swedish diplomats of involvement in the stunt.

Belarus does not respond to positive overtures because there is no domestic pressure on Lukashenko and because its economy is essentially reliant on Russia. Sweden’s decision to re-open diplomatic ties with the authoritarian state, without even an apology from Minsk for accusing Stockholm of being behind the stunt, trades away any leverage Sweden may have had in promoting human rights in the Russian puppet state.

Poor move.

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