Lublin Triangle calls on Belarusian authorities to refrain from using force

Petro Poroshenko’s statement on the situation in Belarus

Lublin Triangle calls on Belarusian authorities to refrain from using force

Draft resolution on non-recognition of election results in Belarus submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

The Foreign Ministers of the Lublin Triangle countries expressed deep concern over the situation in Belarus and called on the authorities of this country to refrain from the use of force and to release all detainees.

This is stated in the Joint Statement of the Heads of the Foreign Ministries of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania on the situation in Belarus, circulated on August 10..

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius (archive photo)

“Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, including democracy and the rule of law, is essential for the further development of an independent and sovereign Belarus, which we fully support. We are confident that only through dialogue, the current situation can be resolved for the benefit of the people and the state of Belarus, ”the statement says..

The heads of the diplomatic departments of the three countries note that they are “open to any assistance in promoting this dialogue.”.

According to the official preliminary data of the counting of votes in the presidential elections on August 9 in Belarus, about 10 percent of voters voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and 80.2% for Alexander Lukashenko. After the closing of polling stations on August 9, mass protests took place in Belarus. “People who disagree with the election results are taking to the streets of Minsk and other Belarusian cities. They are brutally dispersed by the security forces, ”the Ukrainian Service of Radio Liberty reported on August 11..

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputovich (archive photo)

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya left the republic on the night of August 11 and is now in Lithuania. Her video message appeared in the press with a request to Belarusians not to go to protest actions.

As a reminder, on July 28, 2020, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania created a new trilateral platform – “The Lublin Terugolnik”. During a telephone conversation on July 31, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba invited his Belarusian counterpart Volodymyr Makei to a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland as part of the Lublin Triangle initiative, reports..

An initiative for Belarus was prepared in Kiev

Kiev could become a platform for negotiations between the Belarusian authorities and the opposition. Aleksey Goncharenko, People’s Deputy of the European Solidarity faction, Chairman of the inter-factional deputy association “For Democratic Belarus”, noted this in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America..

“We have registered the draft resolution in the Verkhovna Rada on non-recognition of the election results in Belarus. We call on Lukashenka to end violence against protesters and negotiate with them. We offer Kiev as a platform for negotiations between the Belarusian authorities and the opposition, ”said Aleksey Goncharenko, People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada..

He believes that the protests in Belarus testify to the “dishonest, undemocratic nature of the elections, when brute force is used against people.”.

“As I understand it, the people of Belarus have risen not so much for someone as against Alexander Lukashenko,” Goncharenko stressed..

Ukrainian politician notes that official Kiev could take a tougher position, assessing the situation in Belarus.

“The statement made by Volodymyr Zelensky is not harsh and not specific. Ukraine must say unequivocally that it does not recognize the elections in the form in which they took place. They cannot be called elections either. We need to demand an end to violence against protesters, ”Oleksiy Goncharenko emphasizes..

Elections in Belarus – Russia’s actions

Sergei Parkhomenko, director of the OPAD Center for Foreign Policy Research named after Alexander Nikonorov, believes that the events of recent days have shown the differences between popular protests in Ukraine and Belarus..

“There is no national position in Belarus as such – Tikhanovskaya is not a representative of national policy, a policy that will not only change the Lukashenka’s regime, but will affect the country’s course. Tikhanovskaya, as it might seem, is Zelensky, only in Belarus. The same values, illusions about Russia. Moreover, such a presidential candidate is very beneficial to Russia. Imagine her victory – the Kremlin could, without any military operations, receive Belarus as an easy prey, ”Sergei Parkhomenko told the Voice of America correspondent.

He believes that the departure of the opposition politician to Lithuania indicates the absence of strategic goals in the struggle for power..

“Perhaps when Svetlana Tikhanovskaya got involved in the struggle, she pursued some tactical goals – to raise civil consciousness in Belarus, to free political prisoners. In her departure, I do not see the task of being the leader of the state, ”emphasizes Serhiy Parkhomenko.

At the same time, the events in Belarus, according to him, give the Belarusians a chance to “crystallize the real national leaders of the protest – independent from the Kremlin and Lukashenko.”.

Elections, the path of Belarus and the interests of the Kremlin

Aleksey Kurpas, political scientist and expert at the Fabrika Media Political Consulting Agency, notes that Tikhanovskaya’s speech was “quite difficult and probably under pressure.”.

“In the coming days, we will see where the situation will swing. But according to Tikhanovskaya’s video, it cannot be ruled out that the security forces of Belarus put pressure on her, ”Aleksey Kurpas tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.

The political scientist believes that the actions of the opposition after the elections showed unpreparedness to fight for their beliefs.

“The Belarusian security officials have a very strong position. Will there be a Maidan in Belarus? It’s hard to say, but what’s scary about the situation with the Belarusian opposition, given that the slogans are correct, is that the hand of Moscow is visible as well. It is difficult, for example, to talk about the opposition of some Belarusian politicians who are fleeing from an undemocratic country first to Russia and then to Ukraine, ”says Aleksey Kurpas.

According to him, the unwillingness of the official Minsk to establish a dialogue with civil society may lead to new sanctions from the European Union and the United States..

Vyacheslav Siuchyk: Belarusians will continue to fight

The leader of the “Together” solidarity movement Vyacheslav Siuchyk is sure that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was forced to leave her homeland.

“She didn’t leave, but Lukashenka’s special services took her to the border with Lithuania. By this time, the head of her staff was released, “Sivchik told the Voice of America correspondent..

He is convinced that Belarusians will continue to fight for freedom, for non-recognition of the election results.

“Even according to today’s information, there is resistance. There are victims, but citizens are fighting for their freedom, ”says Vyacheslav Siuchyk.

At the same time, he is not ready to give an unambiguous answer to the question of how the situation in Belarus will change in the coming days..

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