31 Oct 2018 18:07

Minsk, Washington to continue working to reinstate ambassadors - Belarusian FM

MINSK. Oct 31 (Interfax) - Belarusian and U.S. diplomats will continue to work on reinstating their ambassadors, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Wednesday, commenting on his meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell.

"This involves a number of aspects, including logistical and organizational ones. We have agreed to continue working together on these issues," the Belarusian state news agency BelTA quoted Makei as saying.

Asked when the ambassadors might return, Makei replied, "Let's start a dialogue and start talking, and the dates will take shape themselves."

There has been no U.S. ambassador to Belarus since 2008. The relationship between Minsk and Washington worsened after the U.S. imposed economic restrictions on the company Belneftekhim in 2007-2008. Minsk recalled its ambassador from the U.S. and reduced its diplomatic presence there. The number of officials at the U.S. embassy in Minsk was cut at Belarus's insistence in March 2008. The leadership of the two countries' diplomatic missions was later lowered from the ambassadorial level to the level of charge d'affairs ad interim.