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Bilateral Relations

Diplomatic relations between Belarus and the United States were established on December 28, 1991. The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the United States of America was opened in Washington, D.C. in 1992.

Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and the United States, a solid foundation for political, economic and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries was laid. The President of the Republic of Belarus visited the United States in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2015, including for participation in the session of the UN General Assembly. In 1994, the U.S. President paid a short visit to Belarus.

However, since 1997 the United States has started to implement a “selective engagement” policy with respect to Belarus, resulting in a decrease of interstate cooperation. 

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

Recently Belarus – U.S. relations have been gradually improving. Level and intensity of Belarus’ contacts with governmental bodies have increased. Belarus-United States cooperation on global and regional security, combating international terrorism, and in international organizations is being maintained and expanded. In particular, Belarus and the U.S. are cooperating on preventing illicit transit of nuclear and radioactive materials.

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. Belarus – U.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.

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.

As part of his visit to the U.S. in September 2015, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has a protocol meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. 

In July 2017, the U.S. Congressional delegation headed by Senator Roger Wicker visited Belarus to take part in the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. During the visit, delegation members met with the Head of Belarusian State. 

In October 2018, the American delegation led by the Assistant Secretary of State of the United States of America, Wess Mitchell, visited Minsk to hold meetings with the Head of Belarusian State and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Belarus successfully collaborates with the United States in domain of humanitarian assistance. That includes cooperation with the U.S. charity organizations that provide Chernobyl-related assistance. In 2018, the United States was the top donor country in terms of the volume of humanitarian assistance to Belarus amounting to $11.4 million.

Belarus and the United States are engaged in a process of developing bilateral relations, systematically increasing cooperation in trade and economic area and resolving issues in bilateral agenda of mutual concern.