The French Foreign Ministry announced Monday in a communique that de Lacoste left Belarus on Sunday after Belarusian authorities arrived at a “unilateral decision.”

Local media said that the order for the French ambassador to leave is likely connected to the EU’s and France’s pushback against Lukashenko’s disputed win in the election. This reasoning is supported by a message from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, which said that de Lacoste refused to present his credentials to Lukashenko.

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“The head of the French diplomatic mission did not express readiness to complete the procedure for assuming office as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Belarus, which is stipulated by international law and generally recognized practice,” said Anatoly Glaz, press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.

France’s Foreign Ministry said that de Lacoste’s decision not to present his credentials was “in line with the common European position of not recognizing the legitimacy of the outcome of the August 2020 presidential election.”