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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ex-Envoy Cries Frame-Up

MINSK, Belarus -- The Belarussian ambassador to Japan, accused of refusing an order to return home, said Monday he was being framed by someone with a political agenda.

Ambassador Pyotr Kravchenko was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying he intended to return to his home country but delayed his departure on medical advice.

"Someone is trying to make me out to be a political defector," he said.

The Belarussian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Kravchenko, a former foreign minister and deputy who was once critical of President Alexander Lukashenko, had refused an order to return home and declined to hand over some official documents.

A Foreign Ministry official declined to say what was in the documents, but said Kravchenko, who was recalled on Nov. 19, had disappeared with the official embassy stamp and keys and had reiterated his refusal to a government official.

Earlier, local media reported that Kravchenko had been spotted entering the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. A spokesman for the embassy said he had no information on the matter.

Friends of Kravchenko said he might have decided to start a new life abroad after finding it hard to fit into Belarussian politics.