U.S. Department Of State: Belarusians Rejected Lukashenko, He Has No Legitimacy

The U.S. and European countries are discussing “targeted sanctions” against Belarus. U.S. First Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan stated this on Friday at a special phone briefing for journalists on the situation in Belarus, TASS reports.

Stephen Bigan 

“We are closely coordinating our next steps with our allies and partners, which include sanctions. The United States maintains sanctions against 17 individuals, including the ruler of Belarus and other dignitaries. In addition, we are closely coordinating with our European partners on the issue of additional targeted sanctions against all those responsible for human rights violations and repression in Belarus.”

According to Bigan, the United States believes that the people of Belarus have rejected Alexander Lukashenko as their leader and that he “has no legitimacy.” “The regime does not work in the interests of the Belarusian people. […] Now, after the people have clearly rejected the regime, the leadership of Belarus is using violence to maintain its power,” he said.

At the end of August, the American official visited Vilnius, Moscow, Kyiv and Vienna to discuss issues related primarily to the situation in Belarus. In Lithuania, he met with Belarus’ opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. There he expressed his support to Belarusian people but stressed that the U.S. would not interfere in the country’s  political process.