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Opinions & Interviews

5 Nov 2015

USA ready for further positive steps in relations with Belarus

MINSK, 5 November (BelTA) – The USA is ready for consequent positive steps in relations with Belarus. The point of view was confirmed by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bridget Brink and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Berschinski on 5 October, BelTA has learned.

Within two days the U.S. government representatives met with Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, representatives of the Belarus President Administration, representatives of the Belarusian business community, the civil society, the opposition and human rights activists. They evaluated the visit to Belarus as very productive. In their opinion, the meetings were fruitful. The USA representatives expect the dialogue between the governments and the nations of the two countries to continue. “It is going on at a very important time for Belarus-USA relations,” said Robert Berschinski.

“The USA stands ready to make consequent positive steps in relations with Belarus,” he stressed.

“We believe that further positive steps will make stronger the sovereignty and independence of Belarus that the USA irrevocably and firmly support and that will provide the future foundation for improving relations between our countries,” noted Bridget Brink.

According to Bridget Brink, the USA is ready to take relations with Belarus as far as the Belarusian government is ready to go. “We hope that the dialogue has been started and will be fruitful,” said the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

Robert Berschinski noted that the American side will continue consultations with the Belarusian government. In particular, within the next two months meetings will be held to discuss ways to continue cooperation.

The U.S. official stressed that the meeting with representatives of the Belarusian government had not yet touched upon concrete steps meant to advance the bilateral relations. The meetings had been focused on the general direction and the general drive for normalizing the relations. “We’ve started talking. We intend to continue the talks with the Belarusian government in Washington in the next month or two during consultations with Belarusian officials,” said Robert Berschinski. The return of the U.S. ambassador to Belarus had not been discussed either.

Bridget Brink said: “We believe that the discussions have been positive, constructive. I was very inspired and reassured. We expect the talks to continue in this manner.”

Asked whether the possible deployment of a Russian airbase in Belarus may affect relations with the USA, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said: “For a long time the United States has held the view that countries are free to enter any alliances and undertake any obligations whether they are military, economic or political ones. In this case we have to approach the matter bearing in mind what effect the move will have on the situation in the region — a stabilizing effect or not.”

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