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Zelenskiy: we call on our neighbors to maximize tolerance, tolerance and rejection of street violence
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s headquarters decided not to participate in the protests, but is ready to challenge the election results
KIEV – Ukraine calls on Belarus for maximum tolerance, open dialogue and renunciation of violence, because this is the approach that will ensure a way out of a difficult crisis situation. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to the press service of the head of the Ukrainian state on August 10..
“We call for the most open, albeit difficult, dialogue. Because only a broad dialogue will allow the citizens of the Republic of Belarus to get out of a difficult crisis situation and honestly discuss further steps and formats of public interaction. Only mutual understanding between all parties is able to preserve the country’s independence and ensure its further movement towards freedom and democracy, “the head of state said..
Otherwise, the escalation of violence will grow, and this is fraught with very negative consequences, the President of Ukraine added..
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, now both parties should be interested in such a dialogue – both the government and the protesting society..
“Our neighbors Belarusians are going through difficult times now. They are trying to determine the vector of their further development. And this is very difficult. It is already obvious that not everyone in the country agrees with the announced preliminary election results. And, as you know, any legitimacy arises exclusively from public trust. Exclusively out of trust. Doubt on such a scale is a direct road to violence, to conflict, to growing public protest. What we are now, unfortunately, and observe, “- said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
He noted that “Belarus is our closest neighbor, and therefore we are not at all indifferent to what is happening there and what will happen to our friends in the future”.
After the elections – in Europe and Belarus
A joint statement by EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varheya referred to the “disproportionate and unacceptable use of force by the authorities against peaceful demonstrators” after the elections.
“We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of everyone who was detained last night. The Belarusian authorities must ensure the observance of the fundamental right to freedom of assembly, ”the statement says..
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called on the EU to convene an emergency meeting of the European Council on the situation in Belarus, Deutsche Welle reports.
Let us remind you that the presidential elections were held in Belarus on August 9. After the closure of polling stations, thousands of protest actions were held in the republic, many of which were suppressed by the security forces. According to the official data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country, protests took place in 33 cities, about three thousand people were detained, of which about a thousand were in the capital. There are casualties in the clashes; The Ministry of Internal Affairs declares more than 50 injured citizens and 39 policemen, according to the Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty.
By the evening of August 10, the Central Election Commission of Belarus updated the preliminary official data of vote counting: 80.08% of voters voted for the incumbent President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, 10.09% of voters for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
The runner-up in the presidential elections in Belarus, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya filed a complaint with the Central Election Commission – demanding that the election results be declared invalid, TASS reported on August 10. At the same time, according to the agency, the headquarters of the candidate for the presidency of Belarus Svetlana Tikhanovskaya decided that she would not participate in protests..
Complex strategic relationships
Maxim Khilko, Chairman of the Board of the East European Security Research Initiative Foundation, believes that Ukraine finds itself in a difficult situation regarding Belarus.
“On the one hand, Ukraine would like to maintain relations with Lukashenka, but on the other hand, it does not see how to strategically develop relations with Belarus if alternative candidates won. Kiev takes a wait and see attitude, realizing that openly supporting a dictator is bad for the country’s image in the West, ”says Maxim Khilko to the correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America”.
When asked about the results of the elections in Belarus, Maksim Khilko replies that what happened in the neighboring country cannot be called “elections”.
“It seems that the results of the“ elections ”were known even before the voting – there was no talk about the free nomination of candidates, their objective registration, hidden vote counting and falsification this year, it seems, set a record,” says Maksim Khilko.
He believes that Lukashenka’s authoritarian policy affected the development of opposition processes within the country..
“For a quarter of a century of Lukashenka’s rule, everything pro-Western has been destroyed. They destroyed pro-Western politicians, threw them in prisons and expelled them from the country, ”emphasizes Maksim Khilko.
The expert claims that the popular idea in Ukraine today – Lukashenko can be the guarantor of Russia’s non-aggression from the territory of Belarus, does not stand up to criticism.
“Lukashenka proceeds from his own interests, and he is not interested in Russia taking the territory of the republic under control,” says Maxim Khilko.
Elections and the creation of the foundations of the opposition
Political scientist Viktor Taran believes that the Belarusian opposition was unable to resist the authorities of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He replies that there are several reasons – why?
“During the years of Lukashenka’s rule, he destroyed anything that can be called a structured and powerful opposition. There are no political opposition parties, civil society, independent press and independent journalists in the country. Belarus is going through the process that Ukraine went through twenty years ago, the action “Ukraine without Kuchma”, when an effective opposition was just emerging in our country, and civil society, “says Victor Taran to the correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America”.
The “pluses” of the current political processes in Belarus, according to him, are that “the foundations of the Belarusian opposition are being created” in the republic..
“And after that, he is preparing for the next parliamentary and presidential elections,” emphasizes Viktor Taran..
He believes that Lukashenka’s presidential election can be called a geopolitical challenge.
“Today, the main task of Ukraine is to prevent the Kremlin from strengthening its influence on Belarus. If we allow this, then we must understand that another front with Russia is opening on our northern borders, ”emphasizes Viktor Taran.
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