Three Swedes behind the so-called "teddy bear" stunt in Belarus which is believed to have sparked a diplomatic row with Stockholm have been summoned to appear before the KGB, they said Saturday.
"We've received a document from the KGB. ... Three of us have been asked to appear before the KGB," Tomas Mazetti, the co-founder of the advertising agency that orchestrated the stunt, told AFP.
Swedish activists illegally flew a plane into Belarus early last month and dropped hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.
The Belarusian security services known under the acronym KGB had said in a statement Friday evening they were investigating "the illegal crossing of the state border of Belarus by Sweden nationals in a small airplane."
In three separate "notices of appointment" written in English and posted on the security services' website, the KGB said that Mazetti, Hannah Frey and Cromwell Per, all Swedish nationals, must appear before the Belarusian authorities within 10 days.
The notices said that if they did not comply that faced a fine or "correctional work for up to two years, or imprisonment for up to six months."
Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko dismissed the country's top border control official and the top air force commander after the incident.
Mazetti said the letter did not spell out the grounds for which the Swedes were being summoned, but his understanding was that they had been asked to appear as witnesses -- not suspects.
"The letter refers to 'refusal or avoidance of a victim or a witness to appear', it doesn't refer to suspects," he said.
However, Mazetti said the Swedes planned to demand guarantees from the KGB before travelling to Minsk.
"We're going to demand guarantees that the KGB does not indict us. They've said they would agree to that previously, but we want guarantees," he said.
The KGB statement pledged to observe the Swedes' rights "in accordance with the Belarus' legislation."
On August 3, Minsk expelled the Swedish ambassador to Belarus alleging he was trying to "destroy" ties with the ex-Soviet state, a move Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt conceded could be linked to the teddy bear incident.
Sweden retaliated, refusing to welcome a new ambassador to replace an envoy who left the post several weeks ago, and withdrew residency permits for two Belarus diplomats who were asked to leave the Scandinavian country.
On August 8, the spat escalated further when Minsk announced it was expelling all Swedish diplomats, giving Sweden until August 30 to remove its diplomats from Minsk, and closing its Stockholm mission.