D.Kreymer: It was a gangster behavior by security forces

David Kramer — one of the key figures in shaping U.S. policy towards Belarus. He did not once met in Washington with representatives of the Belarusian opposition and public figures, including Ira Kazulina. Last year, he negotiated in Minsk with Belarusian bureaucrat on the likely routes of improving bilateral relations, namely, the release of political prisoners.
Reporter: "On your latest position of assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor relations, the extent to which you can pay attention to Belarus?"
Kramer: "Belarus — a country which as before I will pay a lot of attention. Belarusian affairs I gave almost three years on his own previous position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. This country is very even gets into the circle of my current commitments relating to democracy, human rights and labor relations worldwide. Since Belarus is the last dictatorship in Europe, is a country in which I will be as before focus. "
Correspondent"The question sent listener" Freedom "via text message:" Will the application of the Municipal Department of the United States in connection with the barbaric actions of the Belarusian authorities on March 25? "
Kramer"We consider this question. Now we did not have the usual press briefing, but we discuss how to speak about the situation. In my opinion, it was just a gangster behavior by security forces. I think it shows a complete lack of respect by the authorities to the people’s right to assemble freely and express themselves. It is a pity that the authorities not only arrested, and beat people. This was totally unfounded. People came out to celebrate the independence of Belarus, festive day, which should not ganbavatstsa aggressive behavior of security forces . "
Correspondent"Immediately a few listeners of" Freedom "was asked a question may be whether the extension of U.S. economic sanctions against Belarus, including in response to new detentions and beatings of peaceful demonstrators in Minsk on March 25 Freedom day?"
Kramer"We have clearly understand that if Belarus did not liberate all political prisoners or it will deal with other repression, the United States will not have a choice, not counting how to make new steps, such as we did on November 13 last year, [imposing sanctions against the group" Belneftehim. "] I hope we do not have to do these steps, we do not want this. But we create them, is dependent on the actions of the government of Belarus."
Correspondent"During the negotiations with the United States, or allowed Belarusian authorities gave a promise to release all political prisoners, including Alexander Kozulin, and called for this specific period of time?"
Kramer"Yes, the promises were. I will not go into details, but we uttered that all political prisoners will ease by mid-February. We have clearly realize they one hundred percent understand that we are talking about 6 persons. Together with the EU, we have compiled list and handed it to the Belarusian authorities. They knew exactly who is in this list, and the emperor Kozulin, of course, was in the list.
We expected until early March to give different answers to the question, when will unleash Kozulin. Fortunately, the other five were released and it was a positive step. But Kozulin was forced to return to jail after the funeral of his wife, Ira. It is a pity that in this sad situation Minsk regime had no decency to release Kozulin death of his wife. When he was forced to return to jail, we realized that his release would not be high-spirited.
Since we warned the authorities of Belarus, we will create the appropriate steps if they did not release all political prisoners, said they would do, 6 March, the Ministry issued a statement the U.S. money, which explained to the sanctions imposed on "Belneftekhim" November 13 last year. "
Reporter: "You have said that the sovereign Kozulin, the only one of the list, who remains in custody. But there were new arrests. Whether you stalk it and whether you will seek the release of these people?"
Kramer: "Our position — the release of all political prisoners. And there is no doubt that the Belarusian government exacerbated the situation in the light of the aggressive response to the demonstration on March 25. Fundamentally, that the government released all political prisoners. When we started this process, the list of names was 6. We also called for the release of the sovereign Zdzvizhkou — journalist convicted for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. We raised the issue, and other cases, and we will continue to do so if the government of Belarus will do more repression against the people. "
Reporter: "Called the most diverse number of losses suffered by the sanctions against Belarus" Belneftekhim "- from a few 10’s of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars. Whether made in the U.S. calculations, which amount can make these losses?"
Kramer: "We did not count any specific amounts. We tried to guide our steps so makarom to draw attention to the regime and to show that the United States very seriously insist on the release of all political prisoners. When unleash Kozulin, and those new people who put him in jail in Due to nedavneshnimi events, we are ready to deal with Belarus with the latest page. Proposal to start a dialogue remains in force. Very important to emphasize that the Belarusian authorities not to late to do the right way. But the Belarusian authorities to complicate your puzzle making steps such actions against demonstrators 25 March. They also do not help for yourself, keeping in the bullpen Alexander Kozulin. as before We are ready to cooperate with the government, but the Belarusian government must first make the right move, otherwise there is nothing to negotiate. "
Correspondent"When will resume issuing visas at the U.S. Embassy in Minsk?"
Kramer"Disruption in the review process visas pressure was caused by the Belarusian authorities on our embassy. One of the employees who worked visas, because death was left in the family, and another employee should be reduced because of the enforced reduction of staff of our embassy. pinning hopes to resume visa process without further disruption, but it will depend on our ability to do the job for which we are there. And I hope that will not be necessary to respond to the dictates coming from the Belarusian authorities. "
Reporter: "EU countries so far did not publicly supported the United States in their diplomatic conflict with the official Minsk. Are there grounds state that Alexander Lukashenko could divide Europe and America?"
Kramer: "No, I do not think so. European Alliance expressed its attitude to the pressure on the South American embassy in Minsk. Practically from Belarus it was an ultimatum — our salting or had to pull in for consultations in Washington, or be declared person non grata. We opted for consultations. But fundamentally, the West maintained a presence in Minsk, because the EU is very fundamentally maintain care. We as before, we have an embassy in Minsk, but it is coming under increasing pressure from the Belarusian authorities. I hope that we will maintain its presence. There are some differences in strategy, but the EU and the U.S. to keep the unity that all political prisoners should be released to start a discussion between Belarus and Western governments. According to this position, the United States and the European Union have an absolute unity. "
Reporter: "Several of our listeners asked — whether the EU to join the South American sanctions against Belarus?"
Kramer: "This issue should ask the EU representatives. Naturally, we are consulting and coordinating actions
with the EU, but I think that from time to time to the United States to make some steps easier than a group of 27 states. Maybe this is such a case. Minsk But you can not it is wrong to take as a sign of division or partition between us. This is basically the sharing of responsibilities and roles. United States is prepared to take additional steps, if useful. pinned their hopes that this will not be useful, but we are ready to do. "
Reporter: "How do you assess the position of Moscow in the Belarusian-American diplomatic conflict? Minsk Moscow supported in this conflict, pushed to the conflict or took some other position?
Kramer: "This is a fascinating question about the role of. I know that Russian Prime Minister Zubkov recently during a visit [to Belarus] criticized the steps of the United States. At the same time we litsezreem situation in which our homeland continue raises energy prices for Belarus and can be seen trying to get some property in Belarus as part of transactions in the energy sector. These things are not absolutely clear. least the last my eyes from Washington. We look for relations between Russia and Belarus, but our policy towards Belarus is not depending on whether our homeland and Belarus more or less close to the case. Our policy is determined by how the Belarusian government treats its citizens. "
Reporter: "Our listeners asked whether the United States to prevent the incorporation of Russia Belarus, as the U.S. — one of the guarantors of Belarusian independence under a treaty signed after the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belarus."
Kramer: "I think that none of us will not recognize any effort to do some alliance with today’s criteria in Belarus. Belarus — not a free society. There is unrealistic to hold a referendum of free, fair and impartial manner. Though what movement in this direction will create a severe problem. I also I feel that in Belarus intensified national feelings, pride in their country’s independence. According to my experiences, Belarusians want to stay beyond the state, of course, with close relations with Russia. At the same time we do not mind the close relationship between Russia and Belarus, this is a positive thing. But I never had a special alliance between ecstasy prospect with 2 states. "
Reporter: "The United States from time to time blamed application of" double standards. "It is said that against the backdrop of the Uzbek and Chinese regimes, the Belarusian regime looks more or less decently. But U.S. economic sanctions administered relatively Minsk and Tashkent or not Beijing. Why?"
Kramer: "We have a personal approach to each country. There is not any standard approach to the dilemma of human rights in each of these states. We are trying to find out which funds will be more effective for the promotion of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights around the world — whether Belarus or Uzbekistan, or in China. Belarus is located in the center of Europe. It is the last dictatorship in Europe. Both the U.S. and the EU believe that we need to use pressure on the authorities, that they no longer respect human rights and its own people. With all We will also contact with civilian society, the democratic opposition and non-governmental organizations in Belarus, to show that we support what they want to achieve in their own country. We also gave the authorities to realize that if they make the right move, we are ready to work with them . We are waiting for changes in the behavior of the authorities. If the authorities show that we are ready to cooperate.
Reporter: "In the Belarusian media reported that the company" iKobo ", dealing with currency translations, has been providing services to customers from Belarus, citing the sanctions imposed on Belarus by the United States. As such acts have been prescribed sanctions?
Kramer: "I do not have the ability to comment in detail on this issue, but his step on November 13 last year and the previous steps, we want to show the Belarusian authorities that we are serious about our message — that the government should at least release palitvyavznyav to open the door to the best of relations between Belarus and the West, namely the United States. Adequate cash universities, companies and others will have to comply with the restrictions imposed by the Ministry of U.S. money, they do not zahochut violate these restrictions. "
Reporter: "One of our listeners writes that he can not use the services of the American monetary services that explain sanctions against the Belarusian government. He wondered why the sanctions relate to him as a private citizen who has no case to the authorities of Belarus."
Kramer: "Our steps — not against the people of Belarus. I wish to speak clearly — we are not trying to aggravate the life of the Belarusian population. We are trying to show our government nezadavolenne how he treats his people. Some of our steps may affect the population, and we are about This sorry. We do not enemies of the people of Belarus. the United States — one in Belarus. prepyadstviya We have a government in Minsk today. How unfortunate it did not sound can be bad consequences for people across the state of relations between our two governments. I’m sorry I was faced with the listener neuvvyazkami, but I wish that he realized that the source of these problems — not the United States. Problem Source — Belarusian authorities, which do not release political prisoners and respect human rights and freedoms of their own people.’s the problem. "
Reporter: "Why the United States agreed to the demand of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry staff cuts own embassy in Minsk? Maybe if the U.S. refused to comply, they would have won the round mental game, as did the official Minsk next steps?"
Kramer: "We decided not to inspect, the Government of Belarus to declare persons non grata our embassy employees. We tried to defuse the situation and bring it from the state of dissatisfaction with our embassy, which did a fantastic job in Minsk sufficiently adverse criteria, to put it mildly. We did not put pressure on the Belarusian Embassy in the United States. Belarus recalled its own ambassador on his own initiative — I think that fundamentally aware of this. But also fundamentally aware that the upcoming pressure on our embassy is not without reciprocal steps. Basically, the Belarusian authorities to understand that there is a limit beyond which the U.S. not allow themselves to be pushed in this direction. We wish to maintain its presence in Belarus. I believe that the U.S. is very fundamentally be in place to have an embassy, have an ambassador in Belarus. At the same time Belarus fundamentally have an ambassador in Washington. But two-way street, and I hope that Belarus is aware of this. "
Reporter: "In light of the charges on the Belarusian municipal television that South American embassy in Minsk has established spy network, our listener asks:" Tell me honestly, did the U.S. Embassy did not work the CIA? "
Kramer: "I can honestly say to you that these spy stories just funny."
Reporter: "To what extent the United States predicted the reaction of the Belarusian side for the imposition of economic sanctions? Lee assumed that official Minsk to make concessions?"
Kramer: "We had hoped for a positive response, which would lead to the release of all political prisoners. After the sanctions imposed on November 13 last year, it looked that way, and will be, as in January, our embassy in Minsk asked what will be our response to the release of all political prisoners and we uttered that all of them will ease until mid-February. How unfortunate it did not sound, releasing five of the six political prisoners, the government of Belarus has decided to use a different approach. Very, very sorry that when the bullpen was only one man, and could have be
en done better relations between governments with 2, sire Lukashenko decided to throw in the bullpen sovereign Kozulin by the best of relations between our two governments. By this all boils down — Kozulin liberate political prisoners and release new, and we can start with the newest page. When you keep Kozulin and other people in the bullpen will not be not only the newest pages, but we will consider new steps. We planned different scenarios. naturally we were prepared for what is happening at the moment, we are closely thought out our deeds and we will continue to do so " . Tags: united states, Kramer, March 25, Belarus

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