The US will take firm actions against Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in the near future, said the top Belarusian oppositionist Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya after a Monday meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Lukashenko’s rival in the allegedly rigged 2020 presidential election told CNN after a meeting with the State Department that the talks were “very friendly and warm”. She did not disclose any details, but admitted that she asked the American authorities not to hesitate to impose sanctions against the Minsk regime.
In June, the US, together with the EU, Canada and the United Kingdom, imposed a new series of sanctions against members of the Belarusian repression apparatus. Contrary to the EU, the US has not adopted sectoral economic sanctions, although it has already covered nine state-owned companies with sanctions, incl. from the fuel industry.
“It may be painful in the short term, but people are now suffering not because of sanctions, but because of the regime,” Ms Tsikhanouskaya said.
During the talks, both sides touched on “the necessity to put an end to the wave of repressions coming from the Lukashenka regime, along with the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Belarus, inclusive political dialogue and new presidential elections under international observation.”
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya began her first visit to the US on Sunday. She is scheduled to meet with the White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, senators from both parties and the head of the foreign aid agency, Samantha Power, on Tuesday. It is still unknown whether there will be a meeting with President Joe Biden. According to the Polish Press Agency PAP sources, a meeting in Congress may be held on Thursday, but no decision has been made yet.