EU Welcomes Belarus And US Decision To Bring Back Ambassadors

Head of the EU delegation in Belarus Dirk Schuebel welcomed the decision of Minsk and Washington on the mutual return of ambassadors, ONT reports.

Schuebel also expressed hope for a chance to work in a trilateral format.

“I can only welcome the decision by Belarus and the U.S., this puts the relations between Belarus, the U.S. and the EU countries on an equal footing. 

Perhaps this will allow working together in a trilateral format between the U.S., the EU and the Republic of Belarus,” said Dirk Schuebel.

Dirk Schuebel. Photo: Minsk Dialogue

The return of ambassadors “will help strengthen contacts with transatlantic partners”, with which the EU has “traditionally close relations”. “Therefore, I warmly welcome this move,” the diplomat stressed.

On 17 September, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale expressed the country’s readiness to restore diplomatic missions in Belarus to the level of ambassadors.

Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs also advocated a prompt exchange of ambassadors with the U.S. David Hale described the decision as a historic moment in American-Belarusian relations.

The cap on the U.S. diplomats in Minsk dates back to 2008 when Belarus expelled the U.S. ambassador retaliating for the sanctions Washington had imposed for poor human rights record and untransparent elections.

Minsk withdrew its ambassador and staff accordingly. Between 2008 and 2018 the quota was gradually expanded from 5 to 10 diplomats as relations between the USA and Belarus got unfrozen.

The embassies in Minsk and Washington are currently headed by charge d’affaires. The normal size of a U.S. embassy in a country like Belarus is about 30 diplomats plus local staff.

In March, MFA head Vladimir Makei officially announced the lifting of restrictions on the number of employees of the U.S. embassy in Minsk.

Since then several high-level American diplomats visited Belarus, including the former U.S. President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.