This will be the first visit of the U.S. Secretary of State in the history of independent Belarus.
U.S. Thaws Relations With “Europe’s Last Dictatorship” reads the subheading of the Foreign Policy articles that gives an overview of 10 Important Stories You Might Have Missed in 2019.
As ties between the West and Russia wallow at the worst point since the end of the Cold War, the Trump administration has been forging closer ties with one of the last countries fully in Moscow’s orbit. President Donald Trump’s then-national security advisor, John Bolton, visited Belarus earlier this year, and U.S. officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to follow suit and travel to Minsk in January.
Belarus expelled the U.S. ambassador in 2008 after Washington slapped sanctions on it over human rights abuses. But now, the United States is expected to revive diplomatic ties with Belarus by sending an ambassador to Minsk for the first time in over a decade—even as Russian President Vladimir Putin tries to subdue it.