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Belarus KGB wants to interrogate Studio Total about 'teddy bear attack'

Sweden's ambassador in Belarus expelled

The Belarus-Sweden teddy bear war is escalating. Last week Belarus expelled Sweden's ambassador Stefan Eriksson over actions to support democracy.

Now the Belarusian secret service KGB wants to meet with representatives for the controversial Swedish advertising agency Studio Total that parachuted 879 teddy bears bearing pro-democracy slogans near the capital Minsk on July 4.

"We want to have an objective, comprehensive investigation of the case, and an explanation of all aspects of the intrusion into the Belarussian airspace", a KGB spokesperson told tabloid Aftonbladet.

The advertising agency has however no plans to travel to the country to be interrogated.

The two Swedes behind the stunt, Thomas Mazetti and Hannah Frey, said they wanted to show support for Belarusian human rights activists and embarrass the country's military, a pillar of President Alexander Lukashenko's power.

"Hopefully, we've made people more aware in the world and that there will be more people supporting Belarusian people," Frey told AP.

The "teddy bear attack" made President Alexander Lukashenko -- described as Europe's last dictator -- furious, prompting him to sack his air defence chief and the head of the border guards. Authorities in Belarus have also arrested a journalism student who posted teddy bear photos on his personal website, AP said, and a real estate agent who offered an apartment to the Swedes.

Lukashenko also told the incoming border guards chief not to hesitate to use weapons to stop any future air intrusions from abroad.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the accusations against Ambassador Stefan Eriksson were "ridiculous" and "groundless".

Last Updated (Thursday, 09 August 2012 10:59)


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