We cannot push Belarus deeper into Russian grip: deputy FM

In the opinion of Paweł Jabłoński, Poland’s deputy Foreign Minister, the European Union should not limit itself to just lay sanctions on the Belarusian authorities, because it would only push the country deeper into Russian grip.

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Charles Michel, the head of the European Council called the special summit for Wednesday about the situation in Belarus.

“Wednesday's videoconference summit is the effect of pressure which the Polish government, especially the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, has been putting since Monday after the election in Belarus. We do not want the EU to respond with only an idea of sanctions and a joint statement, but we want to give Belarusians more,” Mr Jabłoński told Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“It is about presenting a real proposal of solving the conflict permanently and it is only possible if we offer Belarus a real offer of cooperation which will lead to dialog,” he added. In his opinion, limiting the EU response only to sanctions would mean pushing Belarus deeper into Russian grip.

The deputy minister also called for the EU to condemn the brutal force used by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime against protesters in Belarus.

“Gestures in the international politics are very important, so we want the whole EU to strongly condemn tomorrow the violence, electoral rigging in Belarus and to call for organisation of the new elections,” he said

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“We also want to send a signal saying that if Belarus starts a process of reforms in the direction where the citizens decide about changes, the EU will be ready for the real cooperation with Belarus,” he added.

“The elections in Belarus should be held in an absolutely transparent and democratic way, but the shape of the agreement ought to be a decision of Belarusians themselves. If Mr Lukashenko decides to sit at the negotiation table and solve the problem peacefully or there is another agreement, the EU should be a guarantee of the possibility that citizens of Belarus could choose cooperation with the EU,” He added.

After the presidential elections in Belarus which, according to the official results, saw Aleksandr Lukashenko re-elected for a 6th term in office, protests against alleged electoral fraud have continued in many cities around the country.

Since the demonstrations started, around 7,000 people have been detained by security forces. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the rival of Mr Lukashenko, who is currently in political exile in Lithuania, declared on Monday that she is ready to take responsibility and act as a national leader.