The Belarusians will soon have a new president.
A meeting of the Socialist International Committee was held in Minsk. According to its results, the world social democracy declared 2020 the year of Belarus.
What can it mean in practice? Mikalai Statkevich, leader of the Belarusian National Congress, chairman of the People's Hramada Party, co-chairman of the Socialist International Committee, answers questions of Charter97.org:
- I want to clarify that the world social democracy is going to declare 2020 the year of Belarus. It is planned to happen at the Council of Socialist International, which is the supreme body of this international association between congresses. By the way, the Council includes 135 social democratic parties from around the world. Everyone should see the scale of the decision taken on Belarus.
What will it bring? It means that the world social democracy uses all its instruments to influence the Belarusian situation, to make the presidential elections of 2020 more honest and fair. In particular, illegal restrictions on the participation of politicians, limited in their rights for political reasons, should be lifted. I'm also on that list.
The Socialist International Council will hold a special meeting on this issue with the participation of the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez. The Belarusian issue is on the schedule of the Council. This happens very rarely, given the global nature of the problems addressed by the Council.
It is planned to use the capabilities of the Socialist International in the UN and the European Union. Now social democrats occupy high positions in these structures. For example, the predecessor of the Secretary-General of the Socialist International, António Guterres, now heads the UN. Social Democrats now also decide on the international policy of the European Union.
I hope that this will affect the Belarusian regime. In addition to resolutions and persuasions, other measures will be taken. I think we may even talk about the re-introduction of sanctions against the Lukashenka regime.
-Lukashenka says now that the "parliamentary elections" are a rehearsal of the "mayhem" of 2020. Why is the dictator so nervous?
- He is afraid because he feels that the Belarusian people hate him.
Lukashenka is afraid because he can't offer anything to Belarusians anymore. He sees it.
Lukashenka is afraid that Belarusians will go beyond the limits of the play everybody is tired of and break his script of the "elections", as it was done by the BNC during the "parliamentary" campaign.
The two main political forces of the BNC - People's Hramada and the European Belarus civil campaign - carried out a vivid, tough, bold campaign under slogans that quickly became popular among people: "Lukashenka must resign!", "While you were asleep, Luka sold out your homeland!", "It's over for the collective farm dictatorship!" and others.
It shook the situation and awoke an unprecedented interest in the "parliamentary" campaign, which used to be invisible in Belarus. We have proved that we can effectively use such campaigns and impose our scenario on the authorities.
It happened during the "parliamentary elections", which have never been interesting to anyone in Belarus. The situation will be completely different at the presidential elections. After all, almost all Belarusians realise that the country cannot be surrendered to Lukashenka for another 5 years. People will be ready to act differently. We have already shown only a small part of our capabilities. That's why Lukashenka goes crazy.
On the other hand, there is a huge threat to our independence. It is even greater than one can imagine. Russian politicians imagine that "the union state will exist" by spring.
It means the complete takeover of Belarus. And the only obstacle for them is not Lukashenka, but those Belarusian patriots who are ready to break the scenario, to protest, and if necessary, according to the Constitution, to defend independence with weapons.
Therefore, Lukashenka does not know what to do. It won't be as easy as in 2015. The dictator knows this. This idea is annoying.
- The authors of the two most popular films about Lukashenka's crimes - Yury Khashchevatski and Stsiapan Sviatlou - have recently said that Lukashenka's running out of time and there are signs of his very end. Do you agree with this? Can the year 2020 be fatal for him?
- You know, I see a sign of change. I see the fear of change, not only in Lukashenka but also in those who have already "got along" with his regime.
Indeed, the time of this regime is about to end. Its foundation is a financial aid from Moscow, which allowed to support 200 thousand law enforcers. And it has already been destroyed. The main sponsor said to Lukashenka to pay back - to surrender the country. We stand at the parting. Dramatic changes will surely happen in Belarus.
But the only question is what direction will they take? Either we see clear incorporation of Belarus with the help of the regime, and we will have to rise and resist, or we restore freedom in Belarus and develop.
We stand at the parting. Lukashenka won't make through this situation anymore; forget about this man. The Belarusians will soon have a new president. But there are two options, and the situation, I'm sorry, has turned out so that the new president will be an elderly lieutenant colonel in both cases.
- The BNC has nominated you as a candidate for president in the elections of 2020. Are you ready to strongly retaliate against the dictatorship?
- It's the purpose of my whole life. Now we face the decisive moment: whether our nation will exist at all, because Russia's incorporation means our extinction in a few decades, or we will become a normal, European, successful, rich nation.
The moment is decisive. I will sacrifice everything personal at this moment. I don't think any of my friends, enemies and those who know the story of my life have any doubts that I waste words.
I'd like to warn the Russian leadership. Belarusians are still friendly people for you. You want to take away home from these people. You will face tough resistance and a great enemy. Friendly people will become hostile. Do not do this. What will you have then? It will be a tragedy not only for the Belarusians but also for your people.
I address to the Belarusian dictator: do not commit treason. Such a crime bears death. Realise this. If you can't do anything and you're already being pressed, you should turn to patriots, to us. Given the price and things you have done to us, our relatives, our families, our people, our country, we will listen to you for the sake of Belarus.
We will tell you what to do. We know how to save the country and we will do it. But treason will be punished. Any patriot will tell you this. Think about what you are going to do, what Moscow is inclining you to do.
Minsk city committee of People's Hramada supported the Meeting of free people. It starts at 6 pm, November 15, Kastrychnitskaya Square. Mikalai Statkevich will participate in the rally.