A Diplomatic Breakthrough for Washington in Europe’s Last Dictatorship

Вelarus has lifted a long-standing cap on the number of U.S. diplomats allowed in the country, in what U.S. officials see as a significant diplomatic breakthrough with the ex-Soviet nation as its ties with Russia fray, reports Foreign Policy. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei informed the U.S. State Department’s top diplomat on Europe, Wess Mitchell, of the decision in a phone call on Thursday, according to two diplomatic sources briefed on the matter.

 

Though Belarus remains aligned with Moscow, Lukashenko has long played Russia and the West against each other in a bid to shore up his grip on power at home. But Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and role in fomenting war in Ukraine appear to have unnerved the Belarusian leader and prompted him to rethink relations with Moscow.

 

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