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Bilateral Relations

Diplomatic relations between Belarus and the United States were established on December 28, 1991. In 1992 the embassies of the Republic of Belarus and the United States were opened in the capitals of the two countries — in Washington, D.C. and in Minsk, respectively.

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and the U.S., a solid foundation for political, economic and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries was laid. Visits of the President of the Republic of Belarus to the United States were carried out in 1995, 2000 and 2005, including for taking part in the work of the UN General Assembly. In 1994, the U.S. President paid a short visit to Belarus.

However, since 1997 the United States has been implementing the policy of ”selective engagement“ with regard to Belarus, which resulted in the decline of interstate cooperation. In 2007–2008, the U.S. imposed restrictive economic measures against the oil and chemistry concern Belneftekhim.

Belarus has never been interested in deteriorating relations with the U.S. On the contrary, normalizing bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and partnership remains one of priorities of Belarus's foreign policy.

Representative delegations of the U.S. Congress visited Minsk in June 2009 and October 2010, to meet the President of the Republic of Belarus and the leadership of the country. The level of contacts between the Belarusian side and the U.S. Administration was elevated. In December 2010, the first meeting over the recent years was held between the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus and the U.S. Secretary of State, following which a joint statement on cooperation between Belarus and the U.S. on nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation was adopted. BelarusU.S. cooperation in international organizations and in combating international terrorism was expanded.

In 2013, contacts between the foreign ministries of the two countries at the expert level continued. Several rounds of consultations were held at the level of foreign ministries’ heads of departments. Contacts with the U.S. Embassy in Minsk were intensified. In January 2013, a group of American analysts visited Minsk and met with the President of the Republic of Belarus and the Foreign Minister. In December 2013, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin paid a visit to Minsk.

Cooperation with American charitable organizations which render Chernobyl-related assistance to Belarus is continuing. With charitable assistance worth of $10.6 million, the United States has become the 3rd largest donor country (after Switzerland and Germany) for Belarus in 2013.

Effective is cooperation between Belarusian and American law enforcement authorities on preventing high technology crimes, countering illicit trafficking in psychotropic substances, combating trafficking in persons and spread of child pornography in Internet.

The sides are broadening cooperation in healthcare. In 2013, the American side organized the training courses in the U.S. for a group of Belarusian specialists who studied best practices in administration of medical institutions. In February 2014, a group of Belarus’s oncologists and cardiologists visited the U.S.

In November 2013 in Minsk, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus and concluded an agreement with the Center for Examinations and Tests in Health Service of Belarus, granting the permission to implement USP’s standards in the State Pharmacopeia of the Republic of Belarus.