The Belarusian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs statement says the US has imposed additional sanctions against the Belneftekhim concern.
In response Belarus has recalled its ambassador from the United States and recommended the US ambassador to leave the country.
What claims does the US have against Belarus? First of all, it is political prisoners. Former presidential candidate Alyaksandr Kazulin and youth leader Andrei Kim are in prisons. Entrepreneurs’ leader Syarhei Parsyukevich is in custody.
The US and the EU repeatedly called the Belarusian authorities to release prisoners of conscience. Political prisoners Artur Finkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich, Mikola Autukhovich, Yury Lyavonau, Alyaksandr Zdzvizhkou, and Andrei Klimau have been released during the last month.
US State Department’s Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said on 26 February the final release of Alyaksandr Kazulin would mean all political prisoners would have been released in Belarus. After that “we would be prepared to begin a dialogue with Belarus on further steps to improve bilateral relations,” T. Casey said.