Correspondent: After the departure from Minsk you in Brussels met with representatives of the EU administration. What are the similarities and differences of the U.S. and the EU towards Belarus? What steps will be able to make the EU in support of its own South American ally in the US-Belarusian conflict diplomatically?
StewartI braked in Brussels on the way home specifically because we are very tightly coordinating our policies with those of the EU. And it was an opportunity for me and the deputy assistant secretary of state sovereign Kramer meet with representatives of the Union.
In the course of our meetings was stressed a common goal, so respected in Belarus human rights produced and democratic standards. We share and more than a certain goal — the release of Mr. Kozulin, as the last of the internationally recognized political prisoners. It was all patsverzhana.
Union members also expressed concern over increasing pressure on me and on our embassy with the Belarusian authorities. The European Union is developing its approach to bring this concern to the Belarusian authorities. We, the United States — one country, and the European Union — an alliance of states, and certainly there are some differences in strategy. But our positions are very close and coordinated in regard to a strategic approach.
Correspondent: After your departure from Minsk was voiced strong recommendation Belarusian Foreign Ministry to reduce the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Minsk. Than Belarus Foreign Ministry clarifies its recommendation as a significant reduction in embassy reaches? What will be the reaction of the U.S.?
StewartWe strive to find out what they prove these requests. It seems that they want, that our embassy had exactly the same number of employees as the Belarusian Embassy in the United States. But we do not believe that the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations of equality such requests. So we continue to open a discussion with their request.
Correspondent: In connection with his departure from Washington, Ambassador Khvostova and your departure from Minsk — whether the United States will maintain links with the official Minsk? Or subject for discussion in general not until Minsk terms are not met, became a prerequisite of U.S. sanctions?
Stewart: We always keep the channels of communication open. But you’re right that so really make the situation better in bilateral relations, must fulfill the commitment to release all political prisoners. This will significantly change the atmosphere of bilateral relations.
Full text of U.S. Ambassador answers to questions like "Freedom" and the audience — later on our web site.
Tags: European Union, United States, Stuart, conflict, Belarus