U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Melia said during his visit to Minsk on January 24 that the official Minsk could still avoid the introduction of sanctions by Washington in response to crackdowns on December 19. To this end, according to him, the Belarusian authorities should release all those arrested after the presidential elections.
In addition, State Department spokesman said the Belarusian authorities should lift all the charges from the opposition in connection with the events over the elections, Prime-Tass.
Otherwise, Washington intends to impose point sanctions on the Belarusian leadership, said Thomas Melia. «Any possible sanctions on public officials or state-owned enterprises will be directed at those, involved in the repression and suppression of political freedom. They won’t aim to create challenging economic environment for the people of Belarus,» he stressed.
The imposition of sanctions, if any, as well as their character, will be announced in the coming days, Assistant Secretary of State said and added that the sanctions would be anyway agreed with the EU. «Brussels and Washington are discussing what our response should be. Every day we are in touch with our allies about our response; it will be harmonized,» said Thomas Melia.