Poland has become home to thousands of Belarusians, Swiatłana Cichanouska, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, said during her visit to Gdańsk on Thursday. – They found shelter here, escaping from repression – emphasized the former rival of Alyaksandr Lukashenko in 2020.
Cichanouska first laid flowers at the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers. Then she met Belarusians living in the Tri-City and the former president Lech Wałęsa.
Cichanouska: Poles can live in a rich, democratic and European country
The leader of the Belarusian opposition was also shown around the exhibition of the European Solidarity Centre. She thanked, among others Polish and international media for reporting events on Belarus. – It’s been going on for two years. A little more than we expected, but of course we will win – she assured in her speech.
She noted that she was happy to visit Gdańsk. – This is the cradle of Polish solidarity and the democratic movement – she reminded.
Cichanouska added that thanks to “Solidarity” Poles can live in a rich, democratic and European country. – Thanks to “Solidarity”, Belarusians feel your solidarity, energy to move forward, to their democratic future – she said.
Cichanouska assessed that Poland has become home to thousands of Belarusians. ‘They found shelter here, escaping from repression,’ she explained and added that Poland guaranteed her compatriots study scholarships and jobs.
She also mentioned the meeting she had with Lech Wałęsa on Thursday. – During the conversation, we talked about the similarities between “Solidarity” and the Belarusian uprising in 2020 – she reported.
She also noted that she sees a similarity between Ales Bialacki, who, like Lech Wałęsa, cannot receive the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him.
Objective: “so that the world does not forget about Belarus”
In her speech, Cichanouska emphasized that her goal is not to let the world forget about Belarus and thousands of Belarusians who are in prison.
She noted that “Polish solidarity” fuels the Belarusian opposition. “I am sure that together we will get rid of the tyrants in Europe,” she said.
After leaving Gdańsk, Swiatłana Cichanouska went to Warsaw, where she will meet with President Andrzej Duda and representatives of the Belarusian community at the Belweder Palace.
Considered the winner of the election
Sviatlana Cichanouska was the main rival of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who is running for the fifth re-election in the 2020 presidential election. Many Belarusians consider the opposition leader to be the winner of this election, although officially she received only 10.1 percent of the vote, and Lukashenko won with 80.1 percent.
After the elections, mass protests by Lukashenka’s opponents broke out in Belarus, and Cichanouska left for Lithuaniawhere he conducts opposition activities.
Main photo source: PAP/Adam Warżawa