Posted 9 августа 2021,, 11:18
Published 9 августа 2021,, 11:18
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
As the largest German international news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) notes in the “anniversary” article “Lukashenko is threatened by new EU sanctions on the eve of the anniversary of re-election” with reference to the statement of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, the EU is ready to consider further measures against Lukashenka’s regime “in the light of blatant disregard of international obligations by the regime”.
“With the 'forced and illegal' landing of a Ryanair flight in May and the use of migrants for political ends, Borrell said the regime 'has further challenged international norms,' the newspaper notes.
Speaking about "migration challenges", Borrell noted that in July alone, more than 2,000 illegal crossings of illegal immigrants were registered on the border of Lithuania with Belarus.
From the EU's point of view, the government in Minsk is deliberately waging a "hybrid war" with the help of crowds of migrants.
Previously, Lukashenko openly threatened to allow people from countries like Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria to cross the border in response to EU sanctions.
The EU made an official statement on plans to introduce new sanctions against Lukashenko on the anniversary of the presidential elections in Belarus, which took place on August 9 last year.
The protests in the country began exactly a year ago - on August 9, 2020, when the next presidential elections were held in Belarus. The CEC awarded the victory in them for the sixth time in a row to the long-term leader of the country, Alexander Lukashenko. This happened against the backdrop of numerous complaints about massive falsifications and stuffing in favor of Lukashenko.
The CEC of Belarus said that votes in support of the two main rivals - Lukashenko and Tikhanovskaya - in the elections were distributed in the proportion of 80% and 10%. However, opponents of Lukashenko considered that in reality the results were “mirror-like”. They demanded a recount, Lukashenko’s resignation and new fair elections.
At the same time, thousands of people began to take to the streets of Belarusian cities demanding Lukashenko's departure. The protests were harshly suppressed by the security forces, who committed atrocities against unarmed civilians. Thousands of protesters ended up behind bars, hundreds were injured, and several people died. Many residents, amid mass arrests, pressure and threats, had to leave the country.
The EU declared the illegitimacy of the election of Lukashenko, imposing sanctions due to repressions against civil society and the persecution of the democratic opposition in Belarus.
A new package of sanctions appeared after the forced landing of the Ryanair passenger liner in Minsk. The plane was en route from Athens to Vilnius in Lithuania, but under threat of fighter jets, it was forced to stop in Minsk to arrest Lukashenko's critic, anti-government blogger Roman Protasevich.
On the eve of the anniversary of the scandalous elections, Lukashenko's opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory in the presidential race in August 2020, once again called on the EU to increase pressure on Minsk.
“At the moment, no one can feel safe, including me”, - Tikhanovskaya, 38, who was forced to flee from Belarus to Lithuania after the elections, told reporters.
She referred to the case of Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov, who was recently found dead in a Kiev park in Ukraine, where he lived in exile. The police believe that the death of the human rights defender could have been violent, disguised as a suicide.
On the morning of August 9, it became known that the former candidate for the presidency of Belarus Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announced the refusal to hold new opposition protests in the country in the near future, since "the price for this is too high".
The situation with the Belarusian Olympic athlete Kristina Timanovskaya also showed that anyone can become a victim of Lukashenko's "repressive apparatus".
The athlete fled to Poland after claiming that she was being forcibly taken out of the Tokyo Olympics for criticizing Belarusian sports officials.
Later, the German foreign minister promised to support the democratic movement in the country. According to the ministry's statement, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the whole country is being "held hostage" by Lukashenko.
“Along with political support, we started practical assistance in the implementation of our action plan for civil society in Belarus to support people undergoing political persecution,” he said.
Maas called the anniversary of the presidential elections "a turning point in Belarusian history".
“Under the leadership of such brave women as Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Maria Kolesnikova, people walked and continue to walk the streets of the country, peacefully protesting against state violence,” Maas said.
Opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova, who worked for many years as a cultural manager in Stuttgart, has now received the status of a political prisoner. She is in prison along with over 600 other critics of the Lukashenko government.
“Their protest, their will to persevere, is met with admiration, solidarity and support around the world”, - Maas said.
The German authorities, which harshly criticized the torture and expulsion of civilians in Belarus, said that Lukashenko had lost political and moral legitimacy.
“Germany and the European Union support the people of Belarus, who are fighting for respect for basic democratic values and human rights”, - the German Foreign Ministry summed up.