U.S. Department of State
Press Statement by James B. Foley, Deputy Spokesman
Belarus: Deputy Secretary Talbott Meets
Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met yesterday with Semyon Sharetsky, Chairman of the 13th Supreme Soviet, as well as with Supreme Soviet deputies former Belarusian President Stanislav Shushkevich and Ludmila Gryaznova. The 13th Supreme Soviet is the democratically elected Parliament of Belarus, which the Lukashenko regime illegally disbanded in 1996 and replaced with a rubber-stamp body. The United States, Western and Central European democracies, and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly continue to recognize the 13th Supreme Soviet as the legal Belarusian Parliament.
They discussed the Russian-Belarusian Union and its possible implications for the future of Belarus. The Deputy Secretary reaffirmed U.S. support for democracy, which the independent Belarusian nation chose in 1991. The Deputy Secretary encouraged these Belarusian officials and all democrats in that country to continue working with the international community on behalf of a democratic and independent Belarus.
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