Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.S. Sets Conditions For Ties With Belarus

(RFE/RL) MINSK, April 25, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A senior U.S. official says relations between the United States and Belarus can improve only if Minsk releases political prisoners and allows opposition groups to operate freely, RFE/RL's Belarus service reports.

Speaking at a press conference in Minsk, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs David Kramer said that without such steps "relations could deteriorate."

"Under the Belarus Democracy Reauthorization Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed, we have additional steps we can take to increase the pressure on the government," Kramer said. "I hope that won't be necessary. But the ball is in the court of the government of Belarus."

Kramer arrived in Minsk on April 23 for a three-day visit.

In his annual speech to the legislature, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on April 24 that he favored normalizing relations with the United States.

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

SUBSCRIBE For weekly news and analysis on Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.