Meeting with U.S. Charge d’Affaires Scott Rauland

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Belarus wants to normalize relations with the United States on mutually beneficial terms, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with U.S. Charge d’Affaires Scott Rauland on 6 July.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has certain commitments to its neighboring countries. The country maintains close cooperation with Russia, and also such states as China and India. “These are our strategic allies, partners. We have signed corresponding agreements with them,” he said.

“We understand that we will not be able to have a full-fledged foreign policy until we normalize relations with the United States. We do not hide our intention that we want to normalize the relations with the United States on mutually beneficial terms,” the Belarusian head of state said.

The Belarusian President noted that there is some improvement in the relations between Belarus and the U.S. “To say that everything is well in the relations between the states would not be quite sincere, even from the diplomatic point of view. But the relations are much better than they were, and we are moving in the normal, right direction. You probably will not deny this either,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“With the goodwill on the part of the U.S. authorities, we will be able to do a lot in the near future,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“We have no closed themes in cooperation with you. We have no commitments to other states that would go against our cooperation with the United States. Even Russians say that it is absolutely necessary to have normal relations with Western Europe and the United States,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“I will reiterate that if there is the goodwill on the part of the United States, we will be able to address any problem. The only acceptable basis is sincerity, honesty, openness and trust,” the Belarusian leader added.

We are very proud of the progress we have made here over the past two years. We would like to thank you and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has cooperated with us on many issues. We hope that this gives a positive impetus to full normalization of relations in the future, Scott Rauland said.

Washington wanted me to convey to you that we are ready to further cooperate with Belarus so that we could have a good future. The main thing is that the territorial sovereignty and independence of Belarus should be at the highest and strong level, the diplomat said.

“Independence and sovereignty are sacred things to me, as President of the country, and the Belarusian people. We will never agree to be a non-sovereign state, to be dependent,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“We will be doing everything to remain so (independent and sovereign – BelTA’s note). We will be doing it quietly, without clamor or fanfares. We will always be independent. God sees that the Belarusian people have earned this right by its history. You know it well, too,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.