D.Merkel: we are not going to compromise on sanctions

About the expulsion of 10 American diplomats in Minsk until Washington expressed only orally. But U.S. Undersecretary of State David Merkel, responsible for the affairs of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, believes that Washington might have something to add to those sanctions that have already been introduced in Belarus due to the massive human rights violations.
Radio LibertyUnited States complied with the Belarusian authorities, and 10 American diplomats left Belarus. Washington Can I make some further steps in response to this exile?
Merkel: I think the State Department spokesman Tom Casey has brought clarity on this matter. He said that this action was unjustified and unwarranted, that we weigh all the options, a look at the effect of the embassy eventually reduce our dympisii in Minsk, and possibly answer this unreasonable and unjustified act. I think it should be pointed out that the reason for all this is our uncompromising support for human rights and political prisoners in Belarus and criticism of the government.
Radio Liberty: You have said that the United States weighed probable behaviors. Does this mean that we are considering all options — including, for example, with the expulsion of Belarusian diplomats?
Merkel: We are considering all options, but this is not the strategy of "tit for tat". It always came from the Belarusian side, and always accompanied by attempts to limit the ability of the South American Embassy to conduct normal diplomatic work and eagerness to support Belarusians to greater freedom.
Radio Liberty: Do you coordinate their actions with the U.S. the EU?
Merkel: We are in close contact with our European allies. This principle, in particular in connection with the reduction of the U.S. diplomatic presence in Minsk. Fundamentally also indicate that the EU expanded its sanctions against Belarusian officials until March 28 next year. So Makar, we are in close contact with our European allies.
Radio Liberty: You bring European sanctions. The United States also froze the bank accounts belonging to the oil company "Belneftekhim" and forbade the Yankees hold at least some business with the company. Washington is considering additional sanctions?
MerkelIt’s not a bad question, as is important to remember that the sanctions associated with the state of human rights and political prisoners. Belarusian authorities have made it possible to release all six political prisoners. But they were not released Kozulin, and instead put it another 2-political prisoners. So Makar, sanctions take effect. What they are trying to do — the pressure on our embassy in the hope that we would go for a compromise. That we are not going to do. Sanctions related to human rights and political prisoners. And since Belarusian management continues this negative path into self-isolation, and likely further new sanctions.
Radio Liberty: On Tuesday, the Belarusian president contemptuously spoke about Western demands to release political prisoners, including Kozulin, and compared this with the opposition of used toilet paper. How you react to it the U.S.?
Merkel"I think it’s shameful. Lets not forget about why Kozulin is in Belarusian jail. He organized a protest at the fact that the international community has expressed its hesitation in fairness of the presidential election. For this he received a five and a half years jail. His wife died of cancer during his stay in prison. Not so long ago the Belarusian authorities arrested a young guy Andrei Kim. He received 18 months bullpen same again for the unauthorized acts of businessmen. I believe that President Lukashenko’s comments outrageous.
Radio LibertyHow do you think that is why the Belarusian authorities decided to keep these people in jail?
Merkel: I can only imagine that Lukashenko feels danger: if Alyaksadar Kozulin would have been released and would be able to freely receive support in the country. The contract signed with the Belarusian authorities — that all six political prisoners immediately unleash. Belarusian authorities were either unable or unwilling — I think it is clear they did not want — to release Alexander Kozulin, and it can be as feel the danger from him.
Radio Liberty: In his speech Tuesday, Lukashenko referred to the opposition "group untethered slackers who wanted to play in the revolutionaries." How would you outlined the Belarusian opposition?
Merkel: I can only describe them as courageous people. Do what they do, knowing regime ruthlessness — it boldly. Sergei Parsyukevich, another prisoner who was recently sentenced to two and a half years, also organized a demonstration. Because I’m not surprised that Lukashenko pounced on these people. But I think that at least some who see what they do, call them bold. The fact is that they — the Belarusian youth, and connected with them for the future of this country and the people that live there.
Radio Liberty: Well, in the end: what the United States, the West, the whole international community expect from Belarus?
Merkel: In my opinion, the Belarusian government leads to isolation of the country coming. I believe that the Belarusian people wants the same thing and the Europeans and Americans, and people in the world. Belarusians it — the ability to absolutely integrated into Europe, to be able to freely choose their control, to speak freely about the problems that their trevozhut without fear of being arrested and thrown in jail. Tags: united states, conflict, diplomatic, Merkel, Belarus

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