Do not recognise deals without agreement of Belarusians: Tsikhanouskaya

In an address to the Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, urged Europe to show support for democratic forces in Belarus.

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Ms Tsikhanouskaya began by looking back at Belarus’ regime crackdown on demonstrators and opposition voices following the fraudulent presidential elections in August last year. She talked about all those who have been imprisoned, targeted or even killed by Belarusian security forces. She also addressed the latest crisis involving migrants on the EU-Belarus borders.

“You did not recognise the elections [in 2020], so do not hold the impostor for what he is not. Do not recognise any deals made without Belarusians’ agreement,” she called on the Members of the European Parliament.

The oppositionist stressed how the Belarusian democratic movement cannot afford to wait for Europe much longer, that European expressions of solidarity and concern must now be transformed into concrete action.

“Let me assure you, sanctions do work. Continue holding a consistent sanctions policy. Sanctions split the elites, destroy corruption schemes and divide people around Lukashenka,” she stated. “The regime in Belarus has shown itself willing to seize individuals from international flights, misuse international agencies and agreements to punish descent. To use migrants in a way deliberately designed to undermine the stability and security of Europe,” Mrs Tsikhanouskaya emphasised.

EP Head David Sassoli said that “Sviatlana is a symbol of the struggle for democracy and freedom, and a voice for many political prisoners currently incarcerated in Belarus. (...) The regime did not hesitate to use men, women, and children who were in need of protection (...) for the sole purpose of destabilising the EU. This Parliament calls on the other institutions to stand up in defence of fundamental rights,” he concluded.