site.btaUPDATED PM, Deputy PM Confer with Visiting Belarusian Opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya

PM, Deputy PM Confer with Visiting Belarusian Opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya
PM, Deputy PM Confer with Visiting Belarusian Opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya
Left to right: Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, and Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel

The visiting Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel on Tuesday. "The example of Belarus is a clear and sad example of how a developed European country, with very good education, science, technology and a developed economy, can have its democratic rules broken, to put it simply," the Prime Minister told a news conference after the meeting. "The result of this is the establishment of a dictatorship that does not allow the development of any opposition or democratic movement in the country," he added. 

"The choice is, if you have a different opinion from the government, either to go to jail or leave the country. This is an example that we should all have before our eyes, because there is no country that is insured against such a development. The only insurance is that democratic rules are respected. No people should have unlimited power. When there are presidential terms, they should be limited in number. History has shown that the temptation to go for a dictatorial regime, thinking that you are best suited to run a country, is very great," the Prime Minister said.

Tsikhanouskaya said that Russia is trying to destroy the identity of the people of Belarus. "We in Belarus have shown that we are on Ukrainians' side because we understand that they are not fighting for their own country only. The fate of the two peoples is interconnected," said she.

She is adamant that there can be no peace and security in Belarus under the present conditions. She urged Bulgarian people to support Ukrainians in their struggle against Russia.

She also said: "Ukraine is fighting against the Russian missiles and we in Belarus are fighting the subjugation and russification of our state institutions, the economy and news media. It is important to make a distinction between the Minsk regime and the people of Belarus because Belarusian people support Ukrainians."

Tsikhanouskaya urges Bulgaria to participate in an international investigation of the crimes of the Minsk regime and said those are crimes against humanity.

Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel said that Bulgaria condemns Minsk as Russia's accomplice in the illegal aggression in Ukraine. She assured the Belarusian opposition leader that Bulgaria will continue to act in keeping with the common EU policies. "We also agreed that the pressure on the autocratic regime in Minsk through the EU sanctions must continue," said Gabriel.

She went on to call for vigilance about possible attempts to bypass the sanctions. "We stand behind the European support for the Belarusian people and their aspiration to build a democratic state based on rule of law and respect for human rights," Gabriel said. She said that Bulgaria clearly and consistently supports the efforts that reflect the wishes of the majority of the Belarusian citizens. Bulgaria will continue to participate in all EU and UN initiatives aimed at supporting Belarusian civil society, Gabriel said.

On the issue of political prisoners, Mariya Gabriel said that she would rely on the support of women foreign ministers, "who often have initiatives and who give much more visibility" and speak with one voice for noble causes, including talking more about women political prisoners in Belarus.







By 06:49 on 15.04.2024 Today`s news

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