The United States supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus and advocates the development of the country without outside interference, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The United States is inspired by the peaceful expression of the Belarusian people, who are seeking to determine their own future. We stand on our long-term position of supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus, as well as the desire of the Belarusian people to choose their leaders and choose their own path, free from outside interference,” – said in a statement, Pompeo.
The secretary of state confirmed that the United States supports free and fair elections, but believes the August 9 presidential election “did not meet this standard.”
“We remain deeply concerned about the serious irregularities in the presidential elections on August 9 in Belarus and strongly condemn the violence committed against peaceful protesters and journalists, the arrest of opposition candidates and peaceful protesters, the blocking of Internet services in Belarus and the ill-treatment of detainees. to the immediate release of those who were unjustly detained, and to the search for those who are listed as missing, “the statement said.
The US urges the Belarusian authorities to accept the OSCE mediation in resolving the internal political crisis, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.
Earlier, a number of EU countries called for the OSCE’s participation in resolving the crisis in Belarus.
“We urge the government of Belarus to accept the OSCE’s proposal to establish a dialogue and involve all stakeholders in it. We support international efforts to independently assess election violations in Belarus and human rights violations in the situation around the elections and the ensuing suppression (protests)”, – Pompeo said in a statement released by the State Department.
Massive opposition protests began across Belarus on August 9, after the presidential election, which was won for the sixth time by incumbent Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko – according to the CEC, he gained 80.1% of the vote. The opposition believes that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya won the election, not Lukashenko. In the first days, the actions were suppressed by the security forces; against the protesters who did not agree with the results, they used tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades, and rubber bullets. Then the law enforcement agencies stopped dispersing the rallies and using force. According to official data, over 6.7 thousand people were detained in the first days. As reported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, hundreds of people were injured during the riots, among them over 120 law enforcement officers, three protesters died.