The Belarusian opposition still awaiting “concrete” gestures from the European Union

Svetlana Tsikhanovskaïa, the main representative of the Belarusian opposition in exile, could not hide a certain disappointment at the end of the international conference on her country organized in Vienna on Monday, November 22, which brought together representatives of several European states , including France. If she greeted “A courageous initiative” and an “First step for a real change in the country”, however, the young woman could only“Hope for a new meeting soon to have concrete decisions”, for lack of real announcements at the end of this day.

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On Wednesday, the opponent is due to be received in Strasbourg by the European Parliament and its president, David Sassoli. With this new tour, she hopes to recall the urgency of supporting civil society in her country and the promises made in August 2020, after the presidential election that the Europeans had judged. “Neither free nor fair” and which resulted in the reappointment of leader Alexander Lukashenko. Mme At the time, Tsikhanovskaya had to go into exile in Lithuania.

In May, it was the hijacking to Minsk of an airliner carrying the opponent Roman Protassevich that led the Europeans to formulate new condemnations. The Belarusian regime responded by pushing thousands of migrants to the borders of Lithuania and Belarus since July. The European Union (EU) is debating a fifth package of restrictive measures and the Commission was due to announce on Tuesday decisions targeting airlines that have been involved in transporting migrants to Minsk.

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Mme Tsikhanovskaya calls for decisions that “Must target state enterprises”. Many observers believe, like her, that the measures adopted so far present shortcomings and have in no way encouraged Mr. Lukashenko to loosen the grip in which he maintains his country.

Sanctions cannot be the only language

The opponent also implored European foreign ministers to stop “Any contact with the regime”, claiming that “Any agreement signed with him is not legitimate”. In an attempt to resolve the crisis on the Belarus-Poland border, German Chancellor Angela Merkel twice called Lukashenko last week – after speaking with Vladimir Putin. And the high representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, conversed with the Belarusian foreign minister, Vladimir Makei, however cited among the people likely to be sanctioned for their role in the attempt to destabilize the EU, attacked on migration, one of its weak points.

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The Belarusian opposition still awaiting “concrete” gestures from the European Union