Germany has admitted that it trained Belarusian security forces for a period of at least three years despite the country's reputation as "Europe's last dictatorship".
Berlin said it provided the training for 400 border guards, militia officers and technicians from 2008 in the belief that the country was committed to "a process of democracy". But the training programme – which an Interior Ministry spokesman said was provided by German officers in Minsk – was halted in 2010 following the re-election of Belarusian dictator, President Alexander Lukashenko, amid reports that the poll was rigged.
The election provoked widespread protests in Belarus and police responded with a brutal crackdown. Germany protested about the police action at the time.