WASHINGTON, Sep. 18 (DPA / EP) –
The United States Government will resume bilateral relations with Belarus after a period of ten years in which both countries have broken ties, as reported by the deputy secretary for United States Political Affairs, David Hale.
Belarus has maintained close relations with Russia during the 25-year term of the current Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, and has received criticism for the Human Rights situation in his territory.
Hale, who is officially visiting Minsk, has said that the resumption of relations is a “historical moment” in the links between the two countries. “I would like to reiterate that in normalizing our relationship we do not ask Belarus to choose between East and West,” he explained.
Belarus is Russia's narrowest ally in Europe. The United States Government imposed sanctions on Belarus after the 2006 presidential elections on the grounds that President Lukashenko was involved “in human rights abuses related to political repression.” In 2008, when the United States reinforced the sanctions, Belarus decided to withdraw its US ambassador.