The exiled opposition Tijanovskaya calls for a stronger hand from the EU against Lukashenko

WorldThe exiled opposition Tijanovskaya calls for a stronger hand...

  • The dissident says Brussels can “not only make statements” but “turn to the facts”.

  • Sakharov Prize winner says Minsk regime needs more sanctions

Belarusian opposition leader in exile Svetlana Tijanovskaya on Wednesday urged the European Union (EU) to move from “words to deeds” and be “more proactive” in supporting democracy in Belarus. “Europe has supported us”, but “can not only make the statement, it also has to do with the facts“, Tijanovskaya announced during a speech before the plenary session of the European Parliament, which she attended, invited by the institution’s president, David Sassoli.

The opposition woman in exile from her country, which is not recognized by the European Union and the West, after Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko renewed his victory in the elections. called for immediate action In which case 882 political prisoners are imprisoned by the regime, more deputies from the European Parliament. “If we invited them, there wouldn’t be enough space in this room,” he exemplified.

Tijanovskaya, who was awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2020 along with other leaders of the Belarusian Democratic Opposition European Parliament for freedom of conscience, thanked the European Union for its support against Lukashenko, but believed it should overcome “national interests” that prevent more assertiveness against the Belarusian regime. Thus, he insisted that the union did not “react” significantly until Minsk forced a Ryanair flight to arrest a rival and which also had EU citizens traveling.

He also pointed to the fact that the EU has shown its “concern” about the use by the migrant regime on the border with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to pressure Brussels, but stressed that in addition “9 million Belarusians are held hostage” D Lukashenko.

“The Belarusian crisis is closer than we think. Belarusians are not safe even in their own countryOr outside it, and neither are other Europeans,” he said, adding that the regime also threatened a potential “nuclear catastrophe” as a result of tensions with Europe.

fight the government like a virus

Tijanovskaya stressed that the same strategy to fight Lukashenko can be used against the virus: isolate, treat and cure. He specifically advocated isolation by not recognizing the regime, Avoiding Getting Your Ambassadors, and is instead calling on the country’s democratic forces to participate in appointments such as the Eastern Partnership summit held in Brussels in December between leaders of the European Union and several former Soviet republics.

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Similarly, he insisted that treatment should be based on implementing a firm sanctions regime. The European Union is preparing The fifth round of preventive measures against Belarus Those who go beyond internal repression after the last elections and who for the first time have focused on those responsible for the use of migrants on the European external border, whose attempts to enter the union irregularly, they say, are orchestrated from Minsk.

“I guarantee they work, continue to enforce sanctions constantly, because they divide the elite, they disrupt corrupt regimes. Nobody wants that. Responsibility for the crimes of the governmentSaid Tijanovskaya, who also asked that pressure groups “cannot block” restrictive measures.

The opposition party, which has her husband among the regime’s political prisoners, also requested extraordinary support for Belarusians who have left their country, “temporarily expelled”, who need a residence permit.

Time is Running Out

As for Tijanovskaya, the EU cannot live up to statements of “great concern” about what is happening in Belarus. He claimed that Belarusians measure time in “tears” while waiting for news of their imprisoned loved ones, in “sweating” as the regime forces them to work without rights, in “anxiety” of being arrested. From daily fear, and “hours to spare and minutes of no sleep” Health workers facing a pandemic that the regime has “disdained”,

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“Do you believe that your statement deep concern give them some hope, “Europe must have the courage to act now, we don’t have another year,” the opponent asked the MEPs, who added. ,

Sassoli, for his part, considered Tijanovskaya “a symbol of the struggle for democracy and freedom, and a voice for many. Political prisoners currently imprisoned in Belarus“He regrets that more than a year after the last presidential election, Belarus continues” to violate the rights of its citizens, silence civil society and use repression as a weapon every day.

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