Tags: pompeobelaruskalesnikavasanctions

Pompeo Warns of More Sanctions Over Belarus Kidnapping of Regime Foe

secretary of state mike pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 09 September 2020 08:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Days after the reported kidnapping of a major opposition figure and two colleagues in Belarus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Tuesday that the U.S. is considering “additional targeted sanctions” against the regime of strongman President Alexandr Lukashenko.

“The United States is deeply concerned by the reported abduction September 7 in Belarus of Coordination Council member Mariya Kalesnikava, Spokesman Anton Rodnenkou, and Executive Secretary Ivan Krautsou,” Pompeo told reporters, in the first official U.S. statement about the kidnappings.

Kalesnikava is one of the three women considered the faces of the opposition to Lukanshenko in the election last month in which he claimed victory and the subsequent massive protests.

According to several eyewitness accounts, Kalesnikava, 38, was forcibly seized by the OMON (Lukenshenko’s security police) September 7 and placed in a van. A day later, sources said, there was an attempt to force Lukenshenko, Rodnenkou, and Krautsou to cross the border into Ukraine, but it was halted when Lukenshenko tore up her passport.

Responding to these reports, Pompeo said the U.S. “in coordination with our partners and allies, is considering additional targeted sanctions to promote accountability for those involved in human rights abuses and repression in Belarus.”

He also made it clear that the Belarusian authorities are responsible for ensuring “the safety of Kalesnikava and all those unjustly detained.”

“We call on the Belarusian authorities to end the violence against their own people,” said Pompeo, “and release all those who have been unjustly detained, including U.S. citizen Vitali Shkliarov, and engage in meaningful dialogue with genuine representatives of Belarusian society.”

Shliarov is a former campaign operative for Bernie Sandersn now in jail in Belarus on charges of organizing rallies against Lukashenko.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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John-Gizzi
Days after the reported kidnapping of a major opposition figure and two colleagues in Belarus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Tuesday that the U.S. is considering "additional targeted sanctions" against the regime of strongman President Alexandr Lukashenko...
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Wednesday, 09 September 2020 08:34 AM
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