us embassy in minsk
Belarus has got back at United States for imposing sanctions on its state-owned entities. Lukashenko led government has cut down number of staff members in US embassy in Minsk.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Belarusian Foreign Ministry in which it said that both administrative-technical and diplomatic staff at US embassy has been reduced. It however did not shed light on the new number of staff allowed. Anatoly Glaz, the press secretary of ministry said along with reduction in embassy staff number, Belarus is also moving ahead with tightened visa procedures and USAID’s Belarus work permission would also be revoked. “The US Charge d’Affaires in Belarus was invited to the Foreign Ministry today and retaliatory measures were announced to him,” Glaz said.
In April, the Biden administration has slapped sanctions on nine Belarus state-owned enterprises, thereby blocking any US transactions with the entities over human rights violations by Alexander Lukashenko’s government. These sanctions went into effect on Thursday after a wind down period of 45 days.
Glaz said that measures by Belarus are “designed to send a clear signal to the United States about the futility of pressure and coercion in relations with Belarus.” He said, “As before, we are not disposed to escalate and are ready to continue contacts with the American side on the principles of equality and mutual respect.”
The said restrictions would come into effect from June 13, said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price. Price said that US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher will “continue to support the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people, and she’ll continue to engage with them from outside of Belarus.” Ms. Price said that as in her capacity she would continue to engage with “the pro-democracy movements media professionals, students, and other members of civil society, to express our support.”