U.S. ready to make serious political and economic sanctions

Last week the European determine its attitude to events in Belarus — in the European Parliament adopted a relevant resolution. However, the United States of America have not announced any of its steps against the Belarusian regime. The possible actions of the United States we are talking with our columnist Vitaly Tsygankova.

Reporter Vitaly, you can predict what might be the U.S. steps in relation to the official Minsk?

Vitaly Tsigankov
: It is worth recalling that Washington has always been more radical and consistent in his steps towards the Belarusian authorities. However, this can be explained by including, say, organizational reasons — to take Washington's decision a lot easier than the European Union, which includes many countries with different interests. Recall, that the U.S., unlike the EU, decided at the time to go to economic sanctions, prohibiting U.S. companies relationship with the concern Belneftekhim. On the other hand, again. Americans make it a lot easier than the Europeans, since the volume of trade between the U.S. and Belarus is quite small. Note also that the US-Belarusian political relations have long been at a very low level, in Minsk, recall, even the American embassy operates a very limited extent — the Belarusian side does not permit the return of the embassy staff in Minsk. So from that point of view, in contrast to the same Europe, the Belarusian-American relations is nothing to lose.

In these days Minsk is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas had. The purpose of the visit — to get first hand information about the situation in Belarus after the military action on December 19. Over the weekend, he met with representatives of civil society, in particular during a meeting in the association of journalists, he said that the purpose of sanctions against Belarus is isolated measures against the officials, not the people of the country.
Thomas had also made it clear that he intends to bring to the Belarusian authorities that the U.S. position. In your opinion, is it possible that the Belarusian authorities have made some compromises to act on this trip?

Tsigankov: I do not think. First, the looks that the Belarusian authorities stubbornly cling to their line of behavior towards detainees September 19. I would say that understanding, "oh, what we've done," perhaps it is, but there is no commitment and understanding as to how this is possible to fix. Secondly, as I said before, if and with whom Minsk will play some combinations, it is the EU, not the U.S..

If you really predict what steps the United States, it can be said that if the Belarusian authorities to release political prisoners, the United States at least will block all possible channels of macro-financial assistance, and this is primarily the IMF, where the voice of the U.S. is decisive.

As for the more radical steps, the United States is calling for the European Union to go on joint efforts with the European Union. I recall the letter of six influential U.S. senators supreme representative of the Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, the European Union, in which they offer to the European Union to accede to U.S. sanctions against the "Belneftekhim". Not sure what it will do to the EU, but no solutions of Brussels, the United States, in my opinion, are ready to go to the most serious political and economic sanctions.

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