US national security adviser Bolton to visit Belarus on Thursday

Assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs (NSA) John Bolton will visit Belarus on Thursday to meet with the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.

“Tomorrow I’ll head to Moldova and Belarus where I’ll meet with leaders from both nations to discuss regional security matters. Looking forward to strengthening our diplomatic and economic ties,” the White House official said in a Twitter post.

Bolton also said he had a “very productive couple of days in Ukraine.”

If the visit takes place, Bolton will become the highest-ranking US official to visit Belarus in the past 20 years.

Several high-ranking US politicians have already visited Belarus and were received by President Alexander Lukashenko. According to the Foreign Policy magazine, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale is expected to visit the country next month to discuss expanding the US diplomatic presence in the country.

Relations between Belarus and Western powers improved in past years against the backdrop of Minsk’s active role in settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In early 2019, the United States and Belarus officially announced they were lifting mutual restrictions on diplomatic presence in Minsk and Washington.

Belarus recalled its ambassador from Washington in March 2008 after the United States imposed sanctions on several Belarusian companies. Shortly after, the US ambassador to Minsk left the country. Diplomatic missions of the two states have since been headed by charge d’affaires ad interim.


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