Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, was on a visit to Minsk on June 2 – June 4.
As BelaPAN has learnt from the press service of the U.S. Emabssy in Belarus, Rubin held a number of meetings, including meetings with foreign minister Uladzimir Makei, representatives of the diplomatic service and civil society as well as with relatives of the political prisoners.
“At the meetings Mr Rubin studied the opportunities of further strengthening cooperation with Belarus on the issues of mutual interest, such as fighting human trafficking and expanding business contacts. He also turned attention to the old issues on improving the situation with human rights and democratisation that cause concern of the U.S.,” BelaPAN learnt from the embassy.
The press service of the Belarusian MFA said Makei and Rubin discussed the “current matters of bilateral agenda”. The parties “exchanged views on the prospects of Belarus – U.S. cooperation,” the Belarusian MFA notes. “The necessity of lifting the sanctions that impede the development of normal relations between Belarus and the United States, was especially noted.”
According to Maryna Adamovich, the wife of former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, Eric Rubin said at a meeting with relatives of the political prisoners on June 4 that the position of the United States on the Belarusian political prisoners remained unchanged.
Mr Rubin failed to meet with opposition representatives, who were in Vilnius at a conference to discuss the opposition's plans for the presidential “election” in Belarus scheduled for 2015.