On August 9, the one-year anniversary of Belarus’s fraudulent presidential election, the United States, in coordination with Allies and partners, unveiled new tools to hold Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his regime to account for the continued, violent repression of Belarusians both inside and outside the country. Today, the Lukashenka regime responded with threats, attempts to intimidate, and a further diminution of space for dialogue.
Responsibility for the deterioration in U.S.-Belarus relations lies with the regime and its inability to allow independent voices to emerge in Belarus as well as its unwillingness to meet its international commitments. The United States government, Ambassador Julie Fisher, and personnel at U.S. Embassy Minsk will continue to work in support of the people of Belarus. U.S. diplomats will continue to engage with Belarusians, including leaders of the pro-democracy movement, media professionals, students, teachers, athletes and other members of civil society, wherever they are. The United States will continue to partner with elements of civil society and independent media in support of the fundamental freedoms of the people of Belarus.
The United States has been explicit about the steps required to resolve the internal crisis in Belarus, as called for in the OSCE Expert Mission report: the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners; a genuine and inclusive dialogue with the opposition and civil society; and free-and-fair elections under international observation.
The world continues to be inspired by Belarusians as they seek to define their future. The United States and our partners stand with the people of Belarus and all those around the world facing repression as they exercise their fundamental freedoms and civil liberties.