US President called on the US diplomats in undemocratic countries to maintain regular contact with opponents of the regime. George Bush said it in his speech in Washington on 24 July. The American president mentioned political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin, who has been in Belarusian prison for 2.5 years.
“In the years ahead, America must continue to lead the cause of human rights,” the US President said. “The Soviet dissident Andrei Amalrik once compared a tyrannical state to a soldier who holds a rifle on his enemy, until his arms finally tire and the prisoner escapes. It's important we never strengthen the arms. The role of free nations like ours is to put pressure on the arms of the world's tyrants and strengthen the prisoners who are striving for their liberty.”
According to the White House’s head, the United States supports the political prisoners who stand for democracy in Cuba, Belarus, Iran and North Korea. “We stand with Volha Kazulina. Her father, Alyaksandr Kazulin, remains in prison in Belarus for the "crime" of running for President,” RIA Novosti quotes George Bush.
It should be noticed that it has been the second time when Belarus was mentioned by the US President. On 19 July, reading his annual proclamation on Captive Nations Week, G. Bush said: “In countries like Belarus, Burma, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe, people continue to live under oppressive regime, and we will work for the day when all these nations are free... Still, we remain confident that the light of liberty will again overcome this darkness. To bring that day about, we must support young democracies.”
At the present time, the US embassy in Minsk is headed by Charge d'Affaires a.i. Jonathan Moore. Ambassador Karen Stewart (as Belarus’s ambassador to the US Mikhail Khvastou) was recalled in March 2008 due to economic sanctions, imposed by the US Department of Treasury against Belneftekhim concern. The reason for sanctions was violation of human rights in Belarus, in particular refusal of the Belarusian regime to release former candidate for president Alyaksandr Kazulin.