Updated at 21:13,24-10-2016

US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Minsk

10-08-2009, 18:08

Philip Gordon plans to meet with representatives of the authorities and opposition during his official meeting.

As "Nasha Niva" newspaper reports, the visit of the US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon is scheduled for August 14.

The press service of the US Embassy says that Philip Gordon is going to meet with representatives of the authorities, with the Belarusian opposition and public activists.

We remind that a delegation of US congressmen paid a visit to Belarus in June. The representatives of the US Congress expressed their concern over violation of human rights in the country during a meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

They said about the necessity to hold democratic reforms, respect for human rights, discussed reforming the electoral legislation, giving the freedom of speech, assembly, and associations to the Belarusians. The US congressmen also said the opposition should be allowed to take full part in political life and carrying out economic reforms in the country.

The delegation explained to Lukashenka that the situation in Belarus failed to comply with the international norms that was confirmed by different international organizations, Senator Benjamin Cardin, Chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, said after the meeting with the Belarusian ruler.

American lawyer Emanuel Zeltser, unlawfully arrested and convicted in Minsk in 2008, was released from Belarusian prison after the visit of the congressmen.

On June 12, the US President Barack Obama extended the US national emergency act blocking the property of certain "persons undermining democratic processes" in Belarus for a year.

Relations with the United States deteriorated in the middle of the 1990ies. Imposing sanctions on Belneftekhim concern in early 2008 caused a diplomatic conflict. US Ambassador Karen Stewart had to leave Belarus, the embassy staff was cut off. The US imposed sanctions demanding to release political prisoners.