BELARUS: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds to White House statements
Embassy of Belarus

Commentary by the Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus to the Belarusian media on the statements made by the White House and the State Department in regards to the results of the presidential elections in Belarus

Washington, D.C., March 23, 2006

Correspondent:
During this week the official representatives of the White House and the State Department have made a number of statements to the effect that the United States allegedly “cannot accept the results of the presidential elections” in Belarus. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has been leaving these statements unanswered. Why?

The Press Secretary:
Actually, there is nothing to comment here. The United States did not, does not and will not have a mandate to reject or recognize the elections results in other independent states. It is not up to the White House to determine who is going to be the President of Belarus. In our country the President is elected by the people, and not in the street, but at the polling stations. The Belarusian people have made their choice, and the United States has nothing to do with it, whether it likes it or not.

I want to underline the following: if the United States respects the Belarusian people, it must respect their choice as well.

Moreover, we cannot accept lecturing from the country which, in total violation of the OSCE principles, does not have direct presidential elections, and where those who get fewer votes than their rivals become presidents.

Nevertheless, I want to stress that responsible states should be above ideological and political biases and look forward acting for the benefit of their peoples. This is what the Belarusian side proceeds from. We confirm our readiness to interact with the US in the spheres where we have common interests, on the basis of equality and mutual respect.