MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regards the introduction of visa restrictions on a number of Belarusian officials as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anatoly Glaz told reporters as he commented on the visa restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of State against Belarusian officials on 17 January, BelTA has learned.
"The new year has arrived, but the policy of the U.S. Department of State has remained old," Anatoly Glaz said. "We regard this decision as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, as an attempt to exert pressure on the judicial system of our country."
it is only regrettable that U.S. diplomats, who, in theory, should be engaged in the search for compromises, cannot stop and continue to push the spiral of escalation, the official representative of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
"Of course, we will respond to this short-sighted and erroneous step," he said.
"But even more regrettable is the fact that the U.S. Department of State completely lacks more or less intelligent specialists on Belarus who could inform their leadership about the real situation in our country, about how the Belarusian people live and who they support," the press secretary continued. “On the other hand, where can these specialists come from if the U.S. Embassy in Minsk has been absent for almost a year? Still the United States has the information about the real situation in Belarus."
"According to a recent poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), a U.S. institution, 71% of Belarusians would entrust the governance of Belarus to the current government in the future, and only 7% - to the opposition. So, who does the U.S. State Department support?" Anatoly Glaz asked a rhetorical question.
"The unwillingness to see the facts leads to erroneous decisions. It is very regrettable and alarming when erroneous decisions are made by a state like the United States,” he concluded.