17 June 2019, Monday, 6:45
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Andrius Kubilius: Entire West's Efforts Are Needed For Democracy To Take Hold In Belarus

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ANDRIUS KUBILIUS
PHOTO: DELFI

Belarusian opposition leaders met with the Lithuanian MPs.

Belarusian opposition leaders Mikalai Statkevich and Paval Seviarynets met with influential Lithuanian politicians in the Seimas building in Vilnius.

Charter97.org correspondent, who's now in Vilnius, wrote about the meeting.

"We are concerned about what is happening in Belarus, how the internal situation develops... especially since we have not seen any positive changes towards democracy for a long time. The efforts of the entire West are needed to ensure that democracy prevails in countries like Russia and Belarus," – Andrius Kubilius, a member of the Lithuanian Seimas from the Conservative Party, said. The well-known influential Lithuanian politician attended the meeting with Mikalai Statkevich and Paval Seviarynets in the Lithuanian Parliament.

During the meeting with Lithuanian politicians and activists of public organizations, representatives of the Belarusian opposition reported about the threat of the Kremlin's annexation of Belarus. Statkevich began his speech with the apology to the Lithuanian people for the Belarusian opposition's failure to stop the construction of the nuclear power plant in Astravets.

"Lukashenko's regime is based on Moscow's subsidies, but without Russian money his regime will simply collapse. It is thanks to the help of Russia that he continues to rule. Eventually, the Kremlin seeks to incorporate Belarus into the Russian Federation, so that Putin can continue to be in power," – Mikalai Statkevich warned. Statkevich also drew the attention of the Lithuanian politicians to the fact that there had long been no independent elections in Belarus, neither parliamentary nor, especially, presidential ones.

In turn, Paval Seviarynets noted that the human rights situation in Belarus was steadily deteriorating, with at least nine political prisoners in the country. According to Seviarynets, a new trend is gaining popularity: Stalinism. Oppositionist also drew attention to Lukashenka's dependence on the Kremlin's handouts.

"One should understand that Lukashenka is not a guarantor of independence, he is ready to hand over the keys to independence in order to stay in power. Moreover, Lukashenka is a Soviet citizen by mentality and he will never become a European," – Paval Seviarynets said.

Answering the questions of Lithuanian politicians about the situation with the nuclear power plant in Astravets, Seviarynets stressed that the nuclear power plant is not a Belarusian project, but an atomic bomb, which the Kremlin located on the border with Lithuania and which construction is supervised by the ruler of Belarus.

"If Russian generals have a crazy plan to invade Europe and the Baltic States, they can use the Astravets nuclear power plant as a giant atomic bomb," – Seviarynets added.

Both Seviarynets and Statkevich said that the whole West would have to intervene to solve the problem of NPP in Astravets.

Egidijus Vareikis, a Lithuanian MP, who attended the meeting with the Belarusian politicians, stressed that he did not believe that Lukashenka could turn into a democrat. According to the politician, there will be no democracy in Belarus until the regime of the current president of Belarus is crushed. Linas Balsys, a Lithuanian politician and a Seimas deputy, wondered how many activists there were in the political parties headed by Seviarynets and Statkevich, and how they would manage to act under political pressure from the authorities..

"Belarusian society has changed. If earlier it was the young people who criticized the regime, today it is also hated by the villagers, who are no longer able to exist on miserable wages," – Statkevich replied to the Lithuanian politician.

Statkevich stressed again that the power of the Belarusian ruler is supported by the Kremlin's money, which are used to finance the two hundred thousand strong army of law enforcers, terrorizing the population of Belarus. According to Statkevich, the worst thing is that most of the Belarusian security forces are pro-Russian.

Zhigimantas Pavilionis, a Conservative and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, summed up the meeting.

"First of all, our Belarusian friends believe that the best way to solve the Astravets NPP problem is to create a coalition of Western countries, which would require its shutting down not only from Minsk, but also from Moscow. And secondly, not to communicate with Lukashenka," – Pavilionis summed up.

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