Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Amid Ukraine crisis, Minsk hopes to enhance pragmatic cooperation with Washington

Solidarity with Belarus information office

Alexander Kasanof, director of the Office for Eastern Europe at the U.S. Department of State and Oleg Kravchenko, head of the American Directorate, discussed bilateral relations in Minsk.

Amid the crisis in Ukraine and the growing tensions between the Kremlin and the West, official Minsk is attempting to shape the agenda for negotiations with the US. It seeks to reduce the political conditions factor by talking about the need to strengthen the sovereignty and independence of post-Soviet countries, including Belarus. Official Minsk is committed to continuing the bilateral dialogue and enhancing pragmatic cooperation with Washington in humanitarian and economic activity, and to opening opportunities for financial assistance from international financial institutions. However, the Belarusian authorities have no plans to liberalise the political regime, meaning that the release of political prisoners, among other things, is off its agenda.