US plans to seek different ways to influence Belarus

The United States will be looking for other ways to influence the official Minsk apart from sanctions. U.S. Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fischer said

US plans to seek different ways to influence Belarus

“The sanctions, which affected nine state-owned enterprises, were unfrozen because Lukashenko’s government is holding back political prisoners. These sanctions were put on hold, but they were not lifted – they were only frozen in 2015 because political prisoners were released then. But these sanctions are strongly linked to the situation of political prisoners. In the current circumstances, the State Department has made appropriate recommendations to the Ministry of Finance regarding sanctions, given the fact that there are now more than 350 political prisoners in Belarus. It was a strong signal from us – the situation does not allow the sanctions to remain frozen. Now we’ll see whether the sanctions will be effective”, –  she said in an interview with the Polish TV channel Belsat.

In addition, Fischer commented on the recent words of the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Uladzimir Makei, who said that if the ambassador was going to come to Minsk and make statements about the illegitimacy of the regime, there was no point for her to come to the country.

“It would be unacceptable for us American diplomats to agree to any restrictions on our activities. Our diplomats have a variety of assignments around the world every day: for example, communicating with the media, observing the functioning of the government where they serve, US ambassadors also attach a lot of importance to trial monitoring, observing the human rights situation. It is very important for me to understand if I can perform my diplomatic function to the best of my ability, because the U.S. does not accept restrictions on ambassadors’ activities”, –  she said.

The US ambassador also said that she did not care about the “absurd accusations” of the US preparing a coup in Belarus.

“Many intelligent and rational people may laugh at it, find inconsistencies or see a lack of certain details in the story. But what really bothers me is that in Belarus today there is a real political crisis, but instead of taking action Lukashenko has chosen to focus on finding the blame in other countries, on shifting the blame on the so-called foreign intervention, but not on the real problems the Belarusians are facing, not on the steps to be taken to overcome the crisis”, –  said Fisher.

The American ambassador said that Alexander Lukashenko “wouldn’t be too late to make the decisions for the benefit of the people of Belarus.

“I think it’s even possible now for the United States to help in this situation. We know that the sovereignty of Belarus is very important. There are decisions Lukashenko will make and there are decisions his entourage and special services will make. I look forward to the day when Belarus will be a modern European nation, they can already do something today to pave the way for that”, –  said Julie Fischer.

Recall that Julie Fischer was appointed U.S. ambassador to Belarus at the end of last year. However, to date, she has not arrived in Minsk. According to the U.S. diplomat, the Belarusian authorities do not issue a visa to her. In this regard, she arrived in Vilnius, where she holds numerous meetings with representatives of Lukashenko’s opponents.

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