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Belarus to close New York City Consulate at US Request


Belarus to close New York City Consulate at US Request

Belarus Consulate
Photo: RFE/RL

Belarus’ consulate in New York City is closing today upon the request of the US government.

The exchange is the latest in a conflict between Belarus and several democratic states which began in August 2020. At issue, sitting President Alexander Lukashenko is accused of rigging the nation’s last presidential election and robbing his opponent—Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya—of her victory. Since, the US and EU have enacted several rounds of sanctions, while Lukashenko has continued to dismantle Belarus’ democracy.

After the latest imposition of US sanctions in August 2021, Belarus requested that the US cut its Minsk embassy staff down to five people by September 1 and refused to allow the US ambassador into the country, prompting the request for today’s NYC embassy closure request.

The EU and US have enacted sanctions for over a year, but Belarus’s political conflict has continued. The US and EU are hesitant to take further action because Russia is supporting Belarus. Russia will continue to support Belarus, but must find additional means to counteract the impacts of the sanctions. Long-term, without a regime change, Russia and Belarus will likely be completely isolated from Democratic nations and reliant on whatever powers will support them.

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