Belarus to expel some US diplomats

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus says a number of American diplomats have been declared persona non grata and must leave the country. The United States is one of the fiercest critics of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian president. The US ambassador left last month under pressure from authorities and the embassy cut its staff by half, reflecting similar cuts made by the Belarusian embassy in Washington. Belarus had called for further cutting the US Embassy's staff to a skeleton crew of a half-dozen, which the US rejected. A foreign ministry statement Wednesday said charge d'affaires Jonathan Moore was summoned and presented with a list of diplomats who must leave. Embassy officials were not immediately available.