‘We won’t relent’. Addressing MEPs, Tsikhanouskaya calls Belarus authorities for dialogue

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

On Tuesday, Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s unexpected election opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya took part in an extraordinary meeting on the political situation in Belarus held by the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs. She spoke to MEPs via videoconference from Vilnius, where she is staying after being forced to leave the country.

“Today my country, Belarus, is in turmoil and crisis. Peaceful protesters are being illegally detained, imprisoned and beaten. The authorities use the tactic of intimidation, fear and physical threat. At least six people were killed. Dozens are missing. This is taking place in the middle of Europe,” she said.

According to her, Belarus is a part of Europe, ‘culturally, historically and geographically’; the Belarusians who are committed to the norms of the international law are eager to take the right place among other European nations.

Belarus has woken up. We are not the opposition anymore. We are the majority now. The peaceful revolution is taking place. The revolution in Belarus is not a geopolitical revolution. It is neither pro-Russian nor anti-Russian revolution. It is neither pro-European Union nor anti-European Union revolution. It is a democratic revolution,” the politician stressed.

In her view, the revolution in Belarus is not violent, it is happening due to the nation wish to decide for itself. It started because the people want to ‘freely and fairly to elect its leaders and decide its destiny’, she believes.

“In the past two weeks the Belarusians have shown that they will not give up. The will of the people will not be broken. It is our aim to achieve free and fair election peacefully by way of dialogue. Hereby, I declare our readiness for negotiation with authorities. We are ready to nominate negotiators,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

In her speech, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya made mention of the pressure exerted on the members the Coordination Council in Belarus.

“The intimidation will not work, we will not relent. We demand to respect our basic rights. We demand all political prisoners be freed. We demand to stop violence and intimidation by the authorities. Belarusian people deserve better. Europe deserves better,” she concluded.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya tells about family, faith and politics in exclusive interview with Belsat TV