Belarus’ authoritarian leader has threatened to carry tough new measures against demonstrators hard the expansion of his 26-year principle and accused the West of fomenting unrest because he had to consolidate his grip on power amid expanding protests.
President Alexander Lukashenko warned on Wednesday that resistance activists who made a council to negotiate a transition and fresh elections would face criminal charges, and he arranged his safety agencies to restore order on the roads — a potential harbinger of a renewed crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.
During a meeting on Wednesday, they stressed that their concern regarding the validity of the Belarusian election results and made clear they plan to raise pressure on people connected to the violent crackdown of protests.
“The people of Belarus desire change and they need it today.” Stated EU commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen at a presser following the assembly. “We’re pleased with the courage of the people of Belarus. For just ten times because the presidential election happened, the people of Belarus have taken to the streets in unprecedented amounts.
“They need democracy and fresh presidential elections because these elections were neither fair nor free.”
The European Commission has vowed 53 million euros to support the Belarusian men and women. This may consist of two-million euros to aid the victims of state violence and one-million euros to encourage independent media. The remainder is for COVID-19 support.
Von der Leyen stated, “Today it’s more important than ever to be there to get the Belarus people and also to reprogramme money from the government and towards civic society and vulnerable groups.
“There was unanimous support for the EU to be functioning on sanctions against people responsible for what’s happening.”
“As we raise our service to those of Belarus, we have to be firm with people who rigged the election,” Von der Leyen added. The EU considers that the consequences of the August 9 polls, that given President Alexander Lukashenko his sixth semester with 80 percent of their vote,” have been faked,” along with also the 27-nation bloc is preparing a record of Belarus officials who might be blacklisted from Europe within their roles.
Violence must cease and a calm and inclusive dialogue needs to be established. The direction of Belarus must reflect the will of those public,” European Council President Charles Michel tweeted, minutes following the summit he’s chairing got penalized.
Even the EU, for example, the Netherlands, can not take the outcomes of those elections.”
In a joint announcement, the presidents of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia — nations called the Visegrad Four — called Belarus government to”open the way for a political alternative, and also to abide by the basic human rights and liberty while refraining from using violence against the peaceful demonstrators.”
They encouraged unnamed”international actors to refrain from activities which would endanger Belarus’ independence and sovereignty.”
In a video statement before this virtual EU summit, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on Europe to encourage”the stirring of Belarus.”
“I call on you to not reevaluate these fraudulent elections. Lukashenko has dropped all of the validity in the view of our country and the planet,” Tsikhanouskaya explained.
On the eve of this assembly, Michel needed a half-hour phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss with the EU’s concern about election irregularities as well as the scale of their safety crackdown and also to impress the Russian pioneer that the right of the Belarus individuals to ascertain their future.
They discussed ways to promote discussions between Lukashenko and the resistance, maybe by encouraging a dialogue procedure endorsed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Michel was among many EU leaders that called on Putin to place pressure on Lukashenko, of whom he’s a vital ally, to nurture a dialogue with the resistance protesting to the 10th consecutive day against the success of the presidential election.
Russia has, in actuality, been responding in an uncharacteristically quantified manner since the events in Belarus have prevailed.
Macron called on Putin to”encourage appeasement and dialogue” in this nation while Merkel worried that Minsk must”renounce violence” and begin a dialogue with the resistance. Michel for his role called for a”calm and genuinely inclusive dialogue”.
The Kremlin has warned against”any attempt at international interference” and denounced the”pressure” exerted on the Belarusian government. As stated by the Belta news bureau, Putin advised Lukashenko by phone of the material of his discussions with European leaders.
Judy Dempsey, Nonresident Senior Fellow in Carnegie Europe and Editor in Chief of Strategic Europe, stated the accent from the Europeans seems to be about getting Lukashenko to begin speaking to an opposition whose validity he’s tended to question.
“Time is of the essence,” she cautioned if Belarusians aren’t to determine their hopes for change.
“The EU said it doesn’t recognize the results of the presidential elections. The concept of new elections could rattle Putin, whose own album free and fair elections was contested — thus far unsuccessfully — from protesters at Russia,” Dempsey said.
“Friendly relations” wanted with Moscow
Talking to his Security Council, the Belarusian president accused the opposition of trying to catch power and threatened to”cool some hotheads” in the opposition”Coordination Council” to its political transition, which organized a very first media conference on Tuesday.
He assured in certain the opposition needed to cut ties with Russia, which Maria Kolesnikova, among those resistance figures, refused.
“I wish to guarantee each of our official places: we are going to keep friendly, mutually beneficial, pragmatic connections […] together with Russia and with Ukraine and the EU states,” she explained. Through the media conference.
“We’re just starting to feel like an independent state,” she continued, adding that the primary objective of this resistance is”to organise another fair presidential election.”
By Lithuania where she took refuge, the opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya stated in a video announcement: “One individual has kept the nation in fear of 26 decades. 1 person stole the decision out of Belarusians.”
Candidate by default following the imprisonment of her husband, the 37-year-old lady needed, to everybody’s surprise, gathered crowds of fans at her agendas and got the aid of different competitions, succeeding in producing an unprecedented energetic throughout her candidacy.
Lithuania a different center of focus
The comparatively small EU state of Lithuania is playing a significant role since the protests unfold by providing refuge to Tsikhanouskaya.
Many in Europe are worried that hitting against Lukashenko and his partners too hard could drive Belarus to the arms of Russia, although relations between Minsk and Moscow have been troubled in the past several years as well as tenser from the run-up into the polls. Other people dread Russian intervention.
Ekaterina Pierson-Lyzhina, a Brussels-based researcher to Belarus’ EU foreign policy, stated that recent polls suggest around 60 percent of individuals want the nation to stay separate and reject any type of marriage. Smaller groups are split up into people who support Russian or European integration.
“There aren’t any European flags, no Russian flags. This revolution is all about national dissatisfaction of the vast majority of Belarusians using their president, that has held a grip on power for 26 decades,” she explained and urged the EU to establish a fund for victims of the crackdown and help construct a database on authorities offenses.
In the day, several thousand demonstrators gathered again in Independence Square in Minsk, waving the white and red flags of the resistance and calling for the resignation of Lukashenko, who claims to have won 80 percent of votes at the August 9 ballot — an outcome, the EU states it does not take.
Following the election, authorities put down protests in the following days, killing at least two and injuring dozens. Over 6,700 people were detained.
On Wednesday, Belarusian police on Wednesday the death of a demonstrator, that, according to his relatives, was taken by police during protests last week.
The Ministry of Health confirmed the departure in a statement, not mentioning that the reason for his injuries.
By his relatives and resources offered by the Belarusian press, the demonstrator was shot in the head on August 11 at Brest (west).
On Sunday, the opposition organized among the biggest rallies in Belarusian history and also called for a hit. Many companies followed the telephone.
The very first Belarusian diplomat to openly encourage the demonstrators, that the ambassador to Slovakia Igor Lechtchenia, for his part, also declared his resignation.