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Ten years later: Belarus and the United States decide to return diplomatic missions


Belarus and the United States of America decided to return the ambassadors, the corresponding decision was announced on Tuesday by US Deputy Secretary of State David Hale.

For the last ten years, Belarus and the United States have been diplomatically represented in each other’s territory at the level of temporary attorneys.

David Hale said that he arrived in Belarus at the request of Mike Pompeo to be present at an important historical moment – the statement on the exchange of ambassadors after a certain time.

A senior American official thanked the President of Belarus for the opportunity to meet with him.  In response, Lukashenko called an abnormal situation in which “the two states that once fought on the same side against the enemy today have a weak relationship.”

“We agree with you that this state of affairs is unnatural, and we are glad that this chapter ends,” the US Under Secretary of State said.

He stated that the United States is closing this chapter due to the steps that Belarus and the president personally took.  According to him, the United States notes Belarus’s great openness to “diversity” – both in internal affairs and in relations with the outside world.

“We support this vision and will do our best to help you along the way,” Hale said.

He emphasized that the United States is making steps towards Belarus not for “competing with some other country,” but in order to fully realize the potential of bilateral relations.

According to Hale, this region is important for the United States, and Washington is careful about security threats.

“We very much support the sovereignty and independence of Belarus. We hope for political development, progress in the field of human rights, democracy, economic development,” Hale said.

A loud political scandal occurred between Belarus and the United States in 2008.  The United States, in response to Minsk’s refusal to release the oppositionist and former presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin from the colony, introduced additional sanctions against Belneftekhim concern enterprises.  The US Treasury Department froze all bank accounts under the US jurisdiction of the concern and its representative offices in Germany, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia and China.

Then Minsk recalled its ambassador Mikhail Khvostov, Washington was forced to answer in a mirror.  Since then, only some categories of citizens can obtain a visa in Belarus.

Belorussian-American relations have become warmer after the 2015 presidential election – now the United States has suspended sanctions against most Belarusian enterprises and individuals.  For two years, the conversation has continued about the possible return of ambassadors to the countries.



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