US official will travel to Russia, Lithuania amid Belarus crisis

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US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will travel to Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine on August 24-27 to meet senior government leaders to discuss regional issues, the State Department said in a statement on Sunday.

Reuters reported exclusively on Friday that Biegun would travel to the region for talks on Belarus, sources said, as Washington seeks a peaceful resolution to that country’s election crisis that averts Russian intervention.

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The State Department statement made no mention of Belarus.

Biegun’s planned mission signals a greater US role in trying to settle the strife that erupted when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brutally cracked down on peaceful protesters rejecting his claim of a landslide August 9 election win.

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