Photo by Jana Shnipelson
On the 9th of August presidential elections, people of Belarus made their choice. Despite unseen repressions and intimidation attempts during the pre-election period, they voted against state brutality, violation of human rights, arbitrary imprisonments, corruption – they voted against the Lukashenko’s 26 year-long dictatorship. Now, the ex-president of Belarus, out of touch with reality and his own people, is desperately clinging to power and counting his last days. Meanwhile, Belarusian women and men, young and old, factory workers and Minsk hipsters are all united in heroically defending their choice. The bravery of regular Belarusians finds solidarity among the EU citizens too who stand strong with the fellow Europeans – Belarusians.
Viola von Cramon, member of the European Parliament and rapporteur on Belarus from the Greens/EFA group commented on the situation:
“Lukashenko, by ignoring reality, continuing brutality against own people, and inviting military of an external country into Belarus, is only accelerating his painful demise. He needs to accept reality and peacefully transfer power. National consensus of all opposition parties within Belarus, as well as united international community, should be able to generate enough pressure to make him see clearly.”
Besides the European Parliament, other EU institutions and leaders too are hearing the plea of Belarusian people and their true leadership. The Council and the Commission today unanimously agreed on targeted sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime as well as on the EU accompanying the transfer of power per the will of Belarusian people. President Michel and President von der Leyen stressed that the protests in Belarus are not about Geopolitics and is not aimed against any third country.
Talking about the EU’s role, Viola von Cramon added:
“Belarus is part of the Eastern Partnership, Belarus is our European neighbor and the EU has a strong moral obligation to stand with people fighting for freedom and justice in Minsk, Grodno, Vitebsk, Gomel, Brest and hundreds of other towns and villages. It is refreshing and encouraging to see how Belarusians, through self-organized, peaceful grass-roots protests are showing the world the true spirit of democracy. The international community should stand with them and let Belarusians decide the future of their country.”