The US administration is alarmed at the detention of Belarusian presidential candidate Viktor Babariko.
“We are concerned about reports of the detention in Belarus of the opponent of the president [Alexander] Lukashenko, Viktor Babariko,” the official said.
According to him, Washington in this regard insists that Minsk step up efforts to ensure human rights.
“We continue to urge the Government of Belarus to take steps to improve its“ track record ”in the field of human rights and democracy, to fulfill our human rights obligations, as well as those taken within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including free ones and fair elections, ”the diplomat said.
At the same time, he warned that the US government directly linked the deepening of bilateral relations with Belarus with the improvement of the human rights situation in the country.
“Respect for fundamental freedoms, including freedom of peaceful assembly, expression and participation in associations, is key to fostering bilateral US-Belarus relations,” the US Department of State representative said.
“Free and fair elections are not only what happens on election day. We urge the Government of Belarus to ensure equal conditions for everyone to take part in the elections, including with regard to the registration of candidates, access to the media and other aspects of the election campaign, ”the diplomat added.