Nadiya Savchenko: Dictatorship cannot be neutral. Exclusive interview

The Verkhovna Rada deputy told Belsat what she was expecting from the NATO summit, what she was going to do for the Belarusian volunteers and why Minsk had exhausted itself as a negotiating platform.

Hanna Lyubakova: Welcome to freedom.

Nadiya Savchenko: Thank you.

You came to Poland to the NATO summit as member of the Ukrainian delegation. What does your country expect from it?

Ukraine expects from the NATO summit cooperation in working towards the maintenance of peace in a civilized society of the 21st century and holding the aggressor who had attacked Ukraine. This is context we will work hard in and hope for understanding and support.

What does the military alliance can or should do in connection with the war in Donbas?

Of course, first of all it needs to realize the seriousness of the problem: it is impossible to do without the international community. The situation should be brought to its logical conclusion and peace, to the return of the territorial integrity and state border of Ukraine. I think there are political, economic, and military mechanisms for it – if need be, they can be used.

You recently said that you are planning to negotiate with the separatists. What are you going to agree on?

I’m not refusing my words. I said that I am a person, and I am ready to communicate with others – Ukrainians, who ended up on the other side of the artificial border that was put by the Russian Federation. I believe that our negotiations should lead only to peace and to the understanding of our common political future, of the future, that Maidan was about, and not the politicians.

I talked with people in the East – they stand, in principle, for the same values.
We were split artificially. We have a future prospect and an understanding of a unified future for Ukraine.

There are a lot of Belarusians fighting in Donbass at the Ukrainian side who cannot return home. Today Ukraine does not have a law that would allow to give people a citizenship based on a simplified procedure. Will you fight for this law?

This is a big omission. I just recently became a parliamentarian, and I see that we have a been doing some work for too long. We have not learned how to set priorities.

I will insist that the Verkhovna Rada had fewer holidays but continued to work for at least a week or two more in order to resolve all issues and pass all the laws related to the ATO. And I will insist that the simplified system of nationality was spelled out in the law. I hope my colleagues will support me in this.

Lukashenka proposed Minsk as a platform for the talks and has consistently emphasized its neutrality. Do you believe him?

Unfortunately, the dictatorship cannot be neutral. Historically, Belarus has been strongly tied to Russia. Both here and there we find a dictator. Of course, they can agree among themselves, but it is unlikely that it will be neutral. It is good that the Minsk platform had emerged: it allowed to have a cease fire and bloodshed. But it has exhausted itself, unfortunately – we now need to look for other, more effective methods.

Spoke Hanna Liubakova

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