Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has lashed out at German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle over recent sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), the AFP reported.

The scuffle comes after the EU withdrew their ambassadors from Minsk over Lukashenko's human rights record.

“It is intolerable for us as Europeans to see human rights and citizens' rights in Belarus thus violated,” the openly gay Westerwelle said. “This is the last dictatorship in Europe.”

Without naming Westerwelle, Lukashenko responded in remarks on Sunday.

“It's absolute hysteria,” Lukashenko said. “When I heard him – whoever he is, gay or lesbian – talking about dictatorship, I thought – it's better to be a dictator than gay.”

The 57-year-old Lukashenko last year reportedly told Westerwelle that “he must lead a normal life.”

He later offered a tepid apology, which included saying he “did not like gays.”

Lukashenko has controlled Belarus with an iron fist since 1994.

Westerwelle was appointed foreign minister in 2009. He entered a civil partnership with event manager Michael Mronz in 2010.