Rohrabacher Bill Would Re-establish Diplomatic Relations with Belarus
WASHINGTON —Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, Thursday introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. government to re-establish diplomatic relations with Belarus and exchange ambassadors. Both countries recalled their ambassadors in 2008 as the United States sanctioned Belarus-based companies in a dispute over human rights abuses in the former Soviet republic.
“The government of Belarus,” said Rohrabacher, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, “has reached out to the West and has improved political conditions inside their country. For example, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe monitored the recent presidential election in Belarus and noted the progress made in establishing a more democratic and open system.”
The California Republican also cited Belarus’s “positive action” in bringing about a ceasefire in Ukraine. Talks leading to the ceasefire were hosted in Minsk, the nation’s capital.
Last October, noted Rohrabacher, Belarus released all its political prisoners. “In response: The European Union and the United States have temporarily lifted economic sanctions.”
“I hope,” said Rohrabacher, addressing colleagues in a speech on the House floor, “that the United States and Belarus continue to foster a growing relationship, and I applaud Belarus’s commitment to address international concerns.”