The people of Belarus rejected Alexander Lukashenko as their leader, and he cannot be considered a legitimate head of state. This was stated today, September 11, by First Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Beegan during a special telephone briefing for journalists.
“We are coordinating closely with our allies and partners on the next steps, which include sanctions. The U.S. retains sanctions against 17 individuals, including the ruler of Belarus and other senior officials. In addition, we are coordinating closely with our European partners on additional targeted sanctions against all those responsible for human rights violations and repression in Belarus,” he said.
According to Bigen, measures are taken by the U.S. and its allies “should send a clear signal to those who promote violence in Belarus.
“Our sanctions have been in place for several years, and our European partners are reinstating those sanctions that have been lifted in order to establish closer relations with Belarus and possibly soften its policy,” he said. “In addition to the 17 individuals subject to sanctions, we are discussing with our European partners a number of measures that we will be ready to announce in the near future.
According to him, the United States believes that the Belarusian people have rejected Alexander Lukashenko as their leader.
“The regime does not work in the interests of the Belarusian people … Now, after the people have clearly rejected the regime, the Belarusian leadership uses violence to maintain its power,” said Bigen.
He stressed that the U.S. believes that Lukashenko does not have legitimacy and insists on holding new elections in the republic.
“The United States believes – and this is not just our opinion, it is guaranteed to the Belarusian people by the Helsinki Final Act and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – that the Belarusian people have the right to free and fair elections, during which they elect their own leaders,” Bigen stated.
At that, he once again noted that the citizens of Belarus “were deprived of such opportunity on August 9.
There is no legitimacy provided to the ruler of Belarus as a result of elections on August 9,” stressed the representative of the State Department, adding that “the Belarusian people deserve and demand the opportunity to hold such elections under independent supervision, and the United States strongly supports his desire to ensure this.
Recall that Belarus held presidential elections, which were officially won by Alexander Lukashenko. Western countries did not recognize the voting results. After the violent suppression of protests, the U.S. and the EU announced the possibility of imposing personal sanctions against some Belarusian officials.