Tsikhanouskaya’s team names seven areas of economic pressure on Belarus authorities

SvyatlanaTsikhanouskaya. Photo: prezident.sveta / instagram

At Tuesday’s joint press conference with the People’s Anti-Crisis Administration, Ales Alyakhnovich, an economic aide to Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, made a presentation of the areas in which action should be taken in order to exert economic pressure on the pro-Lukashenka government:

  • internal sanctions, i.e. Belarusians’ scaling down purchases of goods and services of companies which support the regime and persecute dissidents; reducing payments to the state budget, including taxes and purchases of the main excisable goods – alcohol beverages and cigarettes;
  • investigation into corrupt schemes of supplying goods from Belarus by regime-linked private companies and restricting their activity, i.e. EU and US sanctions against the so called wallets of Alyaksandr Lukashenka;
  • freezing international cooperation with the state sector. Holding talks with EBRD, IMF, World Bank on their suspension of relations with the regime in favour of cooperation with Belarusian civil society;
  • termination of international cooperation and financing Belarusian state banks;
  • barring the Belarusian authorities from issuing new government bonds on international financial markets. Informing the international community of the regime’s violating the basic economic rights of Belarusians. Starting the discussion on the revision of extinguishing government bonds issued after August 9, 2020;
  • restricting key state-owned enterprises’s export;
  • termination of foreign investment by companies and countries.

“If these mechanisms do not work and repressions continue, the disconnection of Belarus’ state banks from the SWIFT system can be applied. Such sanction would be one of the most radical measures; for that reason, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office considers it necessary to conduct a public opinion poll on the subject,” said Ales Alyakhnovich.

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According to the CEC, 80.1% of voters supported Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the presidential election in August. The officials also claimed that his strongest opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya got only 10.12% of votes. However, on the back of announcing the results of the official exit polls, Belarusians started to take to the streets, saying that their votes were stolen.

In the wake of the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters, Tsikhanouskaya initiated the creation of the Coordination Council (СС) as part of taking urgent measures to restore law and order in Belarus as well as to ensure the transfer of power in the country. Belarus’ Prosecutor General opened a criminal case over establishing the Council, naming it a ‘threat to national security’. The authorities believe the body aims at seizing power in Belarus.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was forced out of the country; now she is staying in Vilnius. In October, Russia and Belarus included Tsikhanouskaya on the interstate wanted list under Article 361-3 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (‘calls for overthrowing the constitutional order’).

People in Berlin pray for Belarus with Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya