The US State Department ordered the departure of the families of American employees from Belarus. This is stated in the message of the American Foreign Ministry. The corresponding order was made on January 31. Earlier, the State Department ordered the departure of family members of diplomats from Ukraine, and also allowed some workers to leave. In Belarus, only the departure of family members is authorized.
The U.S. State Department has also updated its travel advisories to Belarus. They are not recommended. The warning level was previously red. However, now the Foreign Ministry has added a new reason – Russia’s military activity.
“Do not Travel to Belarus due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, and unusual and concerning Russian military buildup along Belarus’ border with Ukraine. Reconsider travel due to COVID-19 and related entry restrictions,” the advisory says.
Reaction of Belarus
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus considers the decision of the U.S. State Department politicized. This was stated by Anatoli Glaz, the press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
“Belarus is not the first country where the mode of operation of U.S. foreign missions has been changed. It is the right of the American side to make such decisions. We’re not worried about it. As before, we will fulfill all our obligations to protect diplomatic missions. So neither American nor any other diplomats are in danger here. According to many ratings, Belarus is a much safer and more hospitable country than the United States,” he said.
He also stressed that the United States does not own the situation in the region and makes decisions “far from reality”, which are not accompanied by a “serious and objective assessment of the true state of affairs.”
“They are based on a purely politicized approach and the desire to artificially escalate the situation in their own interests, provoke hysteria,” he said.
Glaz also called the U.S. initiative to convene a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the situation around Ukraine groundless. The representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry added that this initiative is designed to “make noise and voice some ridiculous, not supported by any facts statements.”