The communication channel with the United States is up and running
The ongoing normalization of relations with the United States has reached the following milestone – a smoothly operating communication channel has been created, serving both, confidence-building and tension prevention.
On October 29th, 2019, the US Embassy in Minsk and the Secretary of State of the Belarusian Security Council, Stanislau Zas, held consultations with the participation of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry. Prior to that, Lukashenka expressed concerns about the deployment of U.S. troops near the Belarusian border in Lithuania and ordered to develop retaliatory measures. In response to his concerns, the U.S. proposed a briefing to speak about the deployment objectives and plans for their stay.
According to Zas, “the prompt response by both, the NATO leadership and the leading state in the North Atlantic Alliance to our concerns has indicated that Belarus’ voice has been heard and that our position has been considered. (...) during the consultations, a common desire was confirmed to reduce concerns with this matter and ensure transparency when adopting similar decisions in the future”.
Overall, these consultations have evidenced enhanced confidence between Minsk and Washington, on the one hand, and reflected the desire to prevent an escalation in the region, on the other. The promptness of the U.S. response also suggests that Washington viewed Belarus’ fears as legitimate.
In addition, last, week, Deputy Foreign Minister Krauchanka visited the United States to participate in the next round of the Belarusian-American dialogue on human rights; he met with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Ricker, Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, and representatives of the analytical community.