“For the last ten years, Belarus has been reproached for drifting towards the West.” Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei commented on the visit of U.S. President’s National Security Advisor John Bolton to Belarus.
Ahead of the international counterterrorism conference in Minsk, the minister dwelled on the agenda of the talks with the aide to President Donald Trump.
“Sovereignty and neutrality are two important things noted in the concept of information security. We will clearly stand guard over our information security, as far as possible, since today technologies are moving really quick. We are not going to interfere in the affairs of other states – elections and other political events. For us, it is a matter of principle,” Makei said.
At the same time, Vladimir Makei noted that the return of ambassadors to Belarus and the United States is still under discussion. Earlier, Bolton also noted that restoring of diplomatic relations between the counties at the ambassadorial level was not discussed.
Recall that the last U.S. ambassador posted to Minsk along with other diplomats was ejected in 2008. This was after the US imposed additional sanctions on Belarus, citing the country’s poor human rights situation and untransparent elections.
Since then Belarus has limited the number of officials serving in the embassy to five, and later 10, normally it is about 30 diplomats plus local staff. At present, the embassies in Minsk and Washington are headed by charge d’affaires.
In March this year, the MFA reportedly called U.S. Assistant State Secretary Wess Mitchell to report about lifting a long-standing cap on the number American diplomats in the country.
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On 29 August, Minsk hosted negotiations between President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the adviser to the President of the United States on National Security John Bolton.
The parties discussed politics, economics, security issues in the region and around the world and other issues. John Bolton is one of the most senior U.S. officials who visited Belarus this century.