updated 3/7/2008 9:44:52 AM ET 2008-03-07T14:44:52

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry says it has expelled the U.S. ambassador and recalled its ambassador to the U.S.

The announcement Friday reflects growing tensions between the United States and the government of Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Washington has introduced travel restrictions on Lukashenko and members of his inner circle, as well as financial sanctions against Belarusian authorities over their crackdown on opposition and free media.

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