#Belarus has woken up! Highlights of a speech by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
Svetlana&# 160; Tikhanovskaya: Belarus woke up&# 160;
Ukraine can&# 160; provide for relaxed entry conditions for Belarusians, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said&# 160;
KIEV – Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya declares the peaceful nature of the protests in Belarus. She told about this to the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, reports the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty on August 25.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya noted that the will of Belarusians for democracy “is not broken” by the post-election repression, which was resorted to by President Alexander Lukashenko.
Radio Liberty notes that Tikhanovskaya spoke with European parliamentarians via videoconference from Lithuania.
At the same time, she stressed that the protests in Belarus are neither anti-Russian nor anti-European in nature, it is “the desire of people to freely and fairly choose their leaders.”.
“Belarus has woken up. We are no longer the opposition. We are now in the majority, ”Tikhanovskaya said, claiming that on August 23, more than two hundred thousand people took to the streets of Minsk to protest..
According to the Ukrainian National News Agency “Ukrinform”, she called the events in the country “a democratic revolution”.
“This is the desire of people to freely choose their leaders and decide their own destiny,” she said..
According to her, the opposition is ready to negotiate with the authorities. “We are ready to identify negotiators (for a dialogue with the Belarusian authorities – Ukrinform.” We are ready to consider the mediation of international organizations to help in the dialogue, ”Tikhanovskaya stressed, urging all countries of the world to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus.
Ukraine – Belarus: a delicate topic
As reported by the press service of the President of Ukraine on August 25, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that relaxed conditions of entry into Ukraine should be provided for citizens of neighboring Belarus..
“How can we prohibit entry to Belarusians, especially given the extremely tense internal political situation in them? I think that it is necessary to reasonably prescribe facilitated conditions for the entry of Belarusians to us. This is a very delicate topic – you need to take into account everything, ”the President of Ukraine.
Presidential elections in Belarus were held on August 9. According to official data, Alexander Lukashenko won 80.1% of the vote, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya – 10.1%. Its supporters disagree with the results of the counting of votes, protests peacefully throughout Belarus.
Peaceful protests against harsh government reaction
Chairman of the Board of the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation Maxim Khilko believes that demonstration of peaceful protest in Belarus avoids violence.
“By constantly emphasizing that the protest is not anti-Russian, they are thus trying to avoid a harsh reaction from the authorities in their direction. But on the other hand, many people forget that protests in Ukraine also started out as peaceful, but they were dispersed by Yanukovych and this situation pushed Ukrainians to take active actions, realizing that the authorities would still react with force, “Maxim Khilko told the correspondent of the Russian Service. Voices of America “.
At the same time, he believes that the Kremlin does not need a peaceful protest in Belarus..
“In any case, the Kremlin will push Belarus to use force. Such a scenario suits Russia and thus it gains even greater control over Belarus, ”emphasizes Maxim Khilko.
Alexander Lukashenko’s lack of communication with Western leaders, the European Union establishment, he said, may indicate that “Russia is gradually taking control” over the republic..
“We see that all international contacts of the official Minsk go through Moscow, the top of the EU cannot get through to Lukashenka, they communicate about the situation in Belarus through Russia,” says Maxim Khilko.
Russia, the expert notes, may also consider the possibility of strengthening the “force” presence in Belarus..
An example for the post-Soviet space
Vice President of the independent analytical center for geopolitical research “Borisfen Intel” Igor Kharchenko believes that it is impossible to compare the protests in Belarus and Ukraine, calling them “Maidans”.
“Ukraine held its first prototype of the Maidan in the early 90s. It was called the “revolution on granite”. Then there was the second and third Maidans, and between them there were various protest actions – “Ukraine without Kuchma”, “tax Maidan”, which gathered hundreds of thousands of people. The protest tradition of communicating with the authorities throughout the post-Soviet space is most developed in Ukraine, “Igor Kharchenko says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
He notes that Ukraine is an example for the republics of the former USSR, how protests can lead to political change.
“Belarus has its own specifics. In power for 26 years, one leader, he preserved the social system, and no matter what changes take place, they do not lead to political changes. Belarus could be compared with China if Lukashenka modernized the republic economically. But China did it most systematically, changing the economic, leaving the political system, “says Igor Kharchenko.
At the same time, the political scientist points out the inevitability of the “accumulation” of protest potential in Belarus..
“People, despite beatings and repressions, are forcing the authorities to change. Lukashenka himself proposes some changes: a referendum, a new format of power, re-election of all government bodies in connection with the new constitution, “Igor Kharchenko emphasizes..
He believes that peaceful protests in Belarus may eventually lead to a change of power, but questions remain – when and how this will happen.?
Protests, economics, Belarus
Political strategist Sergey Bezrukov notes that we can talk about the “stable desire” of the citizens of the neighboring republic to change the power of Alexander Lukashenko.
“These are not protests that demand a change in economic policy, as in the case of the yellow vests in France. These protests demonstrate the fatigue of society from the political structure in Belarus, “Sergei Bezrukov tells the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
According to him, the ongoing performances in Belarus speak of the potential of protest sentiments and the desire to change the government peacefully, but in the medium term..