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Minsk Hopes U.S. Sanctions Will Be Fully Lifted Soon

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has expressed hope that U.S. sanctions imposed against Minsk in 2006 will be fully lifted in the "nearest future."

In 2006, the United States froze the financial accounts of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and nine other high-ranking Belarusian officials. On June 10, Washington extended the restrictive measures by another year.

Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dzmitry Mironchyk said on June 13 that the move does not take into account "positive" changes taking place in Belarusian-U.S. relations.

"We intend to continue our dialogue with American partners to normalize ties" and to achieve the lifting of the sanctions, Mironchyk said in the statement.

In October 2015, the U.S. Department of Treasury suspended sanctions against Belarusian oil giant Belneftekhim and its subsidies.

Belarus recalled its ambassador in Washington in 2008 and insisted the U.S. ambassador must leave Minsk.

The moves came amid tensions between Belarus and the West over the Belarusian authorities' crackdown on civil society.

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