Within the three-day visit, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya met with:
– Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman;
– Speaker Nancy Pelosi (second in line to the presidency after the vice president);
– representatives of the National Security Council;
– Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell;
– Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez;
– Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Dick Durbin, Chris Coons, and others;
– head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination Jim O’Brien;
– USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
Ms. Tsikhanouskaya also spoke briefly with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who visited Minsk in 1994.
At the meetings with American politicians, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya handed over a package of documents with evidence of the Lukashenka regime’s complicity in the military aggression against Ukraine, as well as information on loopholes in sanctions, entities and jurisdictions used by the regime to bypass restrictions.
These are the highlights of the visit:
– The US does not recognize the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka and is not going to resume diplomatic or political contacts.
– Belarusian civil society can count on assistance as part of the aid package adopted recently in view of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Details on the size and format of assistance will follow.
– The US will push for bringing Lukashenka and his henchmen to accountability within the framework of international institutions and courts for repression of Belarusians and complicity in war crimes against Ukraine. International lawyers, attorneys, and investigators on the case held the first consultative meeting in April.
– The democratic forces will establish a working group or permanent channel of communication with tech companies – like Microsoft, Google and others – to counter the propaganda spread by Russia and the Lukashenka regime.
– Further isolation of the regime will be implemented in the sanctions policy until all political prisoners are released and Russian troops are withdrawn from the country.
– The US is considering blocking the foreign assets of the regime’s henchmen and freezing the currency reserves of the National Bank until a new, free election is held.
– Unprecedented persecution of trade unions and the arrests of their leaders in Belarus will be discussed at a high level. Consultations will continue next week on the International Labor Organization sanctions against the regime for the persecution of trade unions and the labor movement.
In addition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya talked to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Sky News, and Voice of America. She gave a press briefing for the State Department correspondents organized by AFP, spoke to the Belarusian and Ukrainian diasporas, as well as students and professors of the George Washington University, and experts on Eastern Europe at the Brookings Institute.
Source: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya