Updated at 18:21,18-06-2018

US ambassador may return to Belarus

Zmicier Lukashuk, Euroradio

The US State Department does not rule out the possibility of US ambassador returning to Belarus. However, currently, negotiations between Minsk and Washington are general in nature -- more specific discussions will be held soon in Washington.

Representatives of the US State Department and the Belarusian authorities have discussed the overall normalization of relations - without specifying concrete steps in this direction.

"I would say that everything is possible, but let it be a step by step development. At a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus we did not raise these issues. The focus of our discussions was aimed at the overall improvement of relations," diplomatically answered questions from reporters Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Bridget Brink.

However, representatives of the US State Department noted that their country expects further steps from the Belarusian authorities in the democratization of Belarusian society. However, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Robert Berschenski did not specify what concrete steps they would like to see.

Robert Berschenski: "We're not at the stage when we need to concentrate on the specifics. The conversation has started, and we plan to continue it with the Belarusian authorities in the next month or two in Washington during the consultations with the Belarusian officials. But despite the fact that I do not have specific details now, I can say that there is a number of areas we want to discuss with the Belarusian authorities. In particular, this may relate to changes in the electoral law relating to freedom of assembly and the registration of political parties."

When asked by the Euroradio how far the US is willing to go on regarding the relations improvement with Belarus, Robert Berschenski replied briefly: "As far as the Belarusian authorities will be ready to go on." However, he did not forget to warn that the United States are expecting the final report of the OSCE/ODIHR on the presidential elections in Belarus and the United States will be watching closely the preparations for the parliamentary elections in 2016.

Representatives of the US State Department paid a two day visit to Belarus and met with representatives of the authorities, the opposition, civil society and human rights activists.