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US State Department Spokesman: We Are To Close All 'Loopholes' For Lukashenka

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US State Department Spokesman: We Are To Close All 'Loopholes' For Lukashenka

New sanctions are coming.

Washington will continue to support the democratic forces of Belarus and impose restrictions on the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

This was stated by Christopher W. Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the United States, in an interview with "Belsat".

According to him, the U.S. continues to support the aspirations of the Belarusian people to democracy, human rights, basic and fundamental freedoms, "which are suppressed by Lukashenka's regime." The interlocutor also said that Lukashenka "trades Belarusian sovereignty to preserve his own position" and "to achieve his own selfish goals."

"Our actions are aimed both at supporting the Belarusian democratic forces and imposing sanctions and other measures to make Lukashenka and his regime pay for human rights violations, attacks on democracy and assisting Putin in his invasion of Ukraine," Smith said.

He noted that Washington has not received any signals from Lukashenka's regime regarding possible "dialogue" and "negotiations." In general, he said, the starting point for discussions on future relations is the release of all political prisoners.

"And until we see a change in Lukashenka's behaviour, we will only increase our efforts to pressure his regime," said the State Department spokesman.

Smith pledged to "supplement our sanctions packages, including closing the loopholes in sanctions," as "the regime is adjusting well."

"We're trying to identify and destroy those opportunities. And we are actively working not only within U.S. agencies but also with democratic forces to identify where we can do the most damage to Lukashenka for the repression and support for Russian aggression in Ukraine," he said.

The deputy assistant secretary of state did not announce future restrictions, but guaranteed that "new sanctions are coming."

"Particularly with regard to his attacks on democracy, human rights and, of course, supporting Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Smith said.

In particular, the U.S. is "focused on a sanctions perspective" regarding "the role the Lukashenka regime plays in exploiting and abducting children from Ukraine, moving them to Belarus and then to Russia."

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