Irina Khalip: Lukashenka’s proposal is pure cynicism

– All of his [Lukashenka’s] proposals, calls, initiatives are worthless. And it’s ridiculous that everyone takes them so seriously. What this man is saying, makes no sense. He just got used to saying whatever he wants and not taking responsibility for it. – said Irina Khalip, a well-known independent Belarusian journalist, when commenting for Belsat on president Lukashenka proposal to hold round table talks between the government, opposition, the EU and Russia.

– Everything that Lukashenka says are just empty promises. I would like to remind that opposition has offered a dialogue [with the regime] right after 2006 elections. Back then situation was similar – we had a political crisis, Alexander Kazulin was sentenced. Lukashenka paid no attention to the proposition to negotiate. And suddenly, five years later, he remembered the proposition. Well, forgive me, but it’s too late now. – said Khalip.

– Conducting such talks would have made sense before the presidential elections or after releasing all the political prisoners. Now, when people are held in prisons, this [offer] sounds ridiculous, like a mockery. And who is supposed to participate in the round table? It is pure cynicism – to talk about dialogue when all your political rivals are held in prisons, on your orders. I will not hesitate to call a traitor a person who will agree to participate in such talks. – added the journalist.

Khalip stressed that as long as the political prisoners are not released, no negotiations can be held with Lukashenka. – In such circumstances, just considering to sit with such a man at a table to negotiate, is a treason. When everyone is released and cleared from charges, we can start thinking if it is worth to hold such dialogue.

– I personally believe, that you cannot negotiate with Lukashenka. I understand that other Belarusian citizens and activists can think that it is possible. I will not change my stand. I see only one radical solution to this situation: Lukashenka stepping down from power and holding new democratic elections. – said Khalip.


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