The leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Cichanouska, made another comment on the crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border. – The European Union should support Poland, be united, and not divide and accuse one of its members – she assessed. According to her, the leader of the Belarusian regime, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, “wants to destroy European unity and force democratic countries to contact him.”
Swiatłana Cichanouska in an interview on Saturday for the Italian daily “La Stampa” she said that Poland cannot be accused of migrants, but must be supported because it defends European borders. She emphasized that the crisis on the border was blackmail on the part of Belarus, used instrumentally by Russia.
In her opinion, the destination of most migrants who came to the Belarusian-Polish border is Germany.
– I would like to say that Poland wants to take care of these immigrants, I have evidence of this, but Warsaw does not want to be blackmailed by Lukashenka. Poland tried many times to send humanitarian aid, tried to calm those people who behaved in a terrible way when incited. She asked not to throw stones, sticks, bricks as weapons, which was organized by the Lukashenka police – said Cichanouska.
She then added: – The European Union should support Poland, be united, and not divide and accuse one of its members. Poland is on the border line, but the problem concerns us Europeans. They want to divide us.
“Lukashenka wants to destroy European unity”
Cichanouska assured that she fully agreed with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who recently said that “the exploitation of migrants has become an instrument of foreign policy”. – I want to thank Draghi personally for this strong support. We must remember that we cannot look at the situation of migrants, separating them from the situation in Belarus, because this would be an attempt to legitimize Lukashenka’s policy, she noted.
– Lukashenka wants to destroy European unity and force democratic countries to contact him, he wants recognition, he wants European Union countries to recognize him as an interlocutor – she assessed.
Referring to the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, Cichanouska said: – We have no evidence that the Kremlin is behind the migrant crisis, maybe journalists have it, but we do not. But surely the Kremlin is instrumentally using this crisis for its own benefit. The Belarusian dictator wants recognition from the West through blackmail. And the Kremlin, in turn, wants to take revenge in the West and show that Belarus is still part of the sphere of Russia’s geopolitical influence.
– But that time is over and it’s long ago. Only Belarus can decide about the future of Belarus – said Cichanouska.
Two key issues that can solve the crisis
Referring to the words of Vladimir Putin that the authorities in Minsk should talk to the opposition, she recalled that “the entire opposition is in prison”. “There can be no dialogue when people are imprisoned on made-up charges,” she pointed out.
Cichanouska explained that dialogue is possible between free people. – There is no longer any opposition in Belarus, people are imprisoned and some are forced to cooperate with the regime – she described. She said that, according to various human rights organizations, there are at least five thousand prisoners in Belarusian prisons, 850 of whom are political prisoners and, she added, a great many journalists.
There is no longer any opposition in Belarus, people are imprisoned and some are forced to cooperate with the regime
At the same time, she expressed her conviction that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s goal was to divide Europe. “This crisis can break the West,” she said. “This is a crisis organized by the regime to blackmail democracies,” she explained. In her opinion, it is important to understand that this crisis does not concern people who want to emigrate, but the regime that causes it and organizes it.
According to Cichanouska, the crisis in Belarus can be solved only multilaterally, and the two key issues are “economic pressure on the regime and assistance to civil society.”
Main photo source: Vit Simanek / CTK / PAP