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