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RFE/RL: Pompeo Vows US Action to Ensure ‘Good Outcome’ for Belarusian People

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PRAGUE – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, talking in regards to the contentious Belarusian presidential election and the following police crackdown towards peaceable protesters, says that “we would like good outcomes for the Belarusian folks, and we’ll take actions per that.” 

Pompeo, who earlier condemned the conduct of the election that handed authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a sixth-straight time period by a landslide, stated in a wide-ranging interview Wednesday with RFE/RL in Prague that “we have watched the violence and the aftermath, peaceable protesters being handled in methods which are inconsistent with how they need to be handled.” 

The vote Sunday, which the opposition has referred to as “rigged,” has resulted in three-straight evenings of mass protests marred by police violence and hundreds of detentions. 

Pompeo stated that the United States had not but settled on the suitable response however would work with Washington’s European companions to find out what motion to take. 

Asked whether or not the election and its aftermath would have an effect on the way forward for U.S.-Belarus relations, together with the promised supply of U.S. oil, Pompeo stated: “We’re going to must work by that…we have been extremely troubled by the election and deeply disenchanted that it wasn’t extra free and extra truthful.” 

U.S. troops in Afghanistan 

Pompeo, who was in Prague initially of a five-day journey to Europe that can even take him to Slovenia, Austria and Poland, mentioned a variety of different points, together with allegations that Russia was concerned in providing Taliban militants bounties to assault U.S. troopers in Afghanistan; expectations that Washington will search to increase the U.N. arms embargo towards Iran; and the impact violence towards protesters within the United States may need on Washington’s picture overseas. 

WATCH: See Mike Pompeo’s whole interview

The U.S. secretary of state declined to touch upon whether or not he believed U.S. intelligence experiences that stated Russia had provided cash to the Taliban and their proxies in Afghanistan to kill U.S. troopers, saying he by no means commented on U.S. intelligence issues. 

“What we have stated is that this: If the Russians are providing cash to kill Americans or for that matter, different Westerners as effectively, there can be an infinite value to pay,” Pompeo stated. “That’s what I shared with [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergei] Lavrov. I do know our army has talked to their senior leaders as effectively. We will not brook that. We will not tolerate that.”  

Regarding the prospect of resistance amongst European allies to U.S. efforts to increase the expiring arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, Pompeo stated it “is senseless for any European nation to help the Iranians having the ability to have arms.” 

“I feel they acknowledge it for precisely what it’s,” he stated of the U.S. proposal, a draft decision of which is reportedly at the moment being floated within the 15-member Security Council. “And I hope that they are going to vote that manner on the United Nations. I hope they are going to see.” 

“The decision that we’ll current is solely asking for a rollover of the extension of the arms embargo,” Pompeo stated. “It’s that easy.” 

Asked particularly in regards to the prospect that Iranian allies Russia and China may veto such a proposal, the U.S. secretary of state stated: “We’re going to make it come again. We have the precise to do it below 2231 and we’ll do it.” 

U.N. Resolution 2231 was handed unanimously by the United Nations in 2015, endorsing the Iran nuclear deal, identified formally because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 

The United States withdrew from the deal, which provided sanctions reduction to Tehran in change for safety ensures aimed toward stopping Iran from growing nuclear weapons, in 2018. 

Russian media stress  

Pompeo additionally mentioned current efforts by Russia to focus on overseas media working there, which the secretary of state earlier warned would “impose new burdensome necessities” on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice Of America. 

In a assertion Monday, Pompeo stated that the 2 U.S.-funded media shops already confronted “vital and undue restrictions” in Russia, and {that a} current draft order by Russia’s state media regulator requiring all media registered as “overseas brokers” to label their content material as such or face fines of as much as 5 million rubles ($70,000) had left Washington “deeply involved.” 

In Prague on Wednesday, Pompeo stated that he believed that “we expect we will put actual stress and persuade them that the precise factor to do is to permit press freedom.” 

“We’ve condemned it. We’ve additionally imposed monumental sanctions on Russia for different components of their malign exercise,” Pompeo stated. “We hope that the remainder of the world will be a part of us on this. We hope that these nations that worth the liberty of press, who need impartial reporters to have the ability to ask questions, even when typically leaders don’t love them, will be a part of with us.” 

Asked whether or not the current dealing with of protests towards social injustice within the United States, which has included the usage of police pressure towards civilians and journalists, had harmed Washington’s picture and weakened its ethical authority in scolding authoritarian regimes, Pompeo referred to as the query “insulting.”  

He stated that the “distinction between the United States and these authoritarian regimes could not be extra clear.” 

“We have the rule of regulation, now we have the liberty of press, each a type of folks will get due course of. When now we have peaceable protesters, we create the house for them to say their thoughts, to talk their piece,” he stated. 

“Contrast that with what occurs in an authoritarian regime. To even start to match them, to in some way recommend that America’s ethical authority is challenged by the superb work that our police forces, our regulation enforcement folks do all throughout America — I, frankly, simply discover the query itself incomprehensible and insulting.” 

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