Will the authorities support European March?
- How do you estimate the recent Congress of the democratic forces?
- Nothing unexpected has taken place. The Congress was absolutely unnecessary at this stage and not interesting to most of Belarusians. The result of the Congress was creation of a little party coalition with great inner problems. However, one would like to hope that party leaders would be able to guarantee participation of their members in general actions of democratic forces, in particular, in realization of the adopted strategy of the dialogue.
- French newspaper “Mond” has published an article stating that the Belarusian opposition had split: party leaders have decided to resort to a dialogue with the authorities, and Milinkevich states that the situation should be changed with the help of mass protest rallies.
- It would be good for party leaders to stick to the strategy adopted by them, and for Milinkevich to be engaged in organizing mass rallies. Then no contradictions would come up. We need an internal Belarusian dialogue and we need a mass support for this dialogue, including the support in the streets.
- Political prisoners are starting to be released in Belarus. They say the regime is bargaining with the West… Are real democratic changes possible in Belarus?
- One cannot fail to notice the steps done by the authorities to stop political repressions gradually. Undoubtedly, it has been caused by the pressure of the economic situation primarily. However, these are steps in a right direction. The democratic forces notice such signals.
Today a unique situation has shaped when the regime tells about a desire to patch up relations with Europe. Most of the democratic forces have pro-European orientation. It means that there is a possibility to decide on the choice of Belarus’ future.
No more reinventing the wheel. Geopolitics dictates certain parameters of Belarus’ development. We won’t be able to find happiness either as a part of Russia, or with Iran, or with Venezuela. Fantastic models of particular relations of Belarus with the rest of the world are doomed to failure. The rules of relations existing in Europe should be accepted, and we should start following them. We have fallen behind all European states already.
- What next steps could be made in this direction?
Today the foundation for Belarusian elite’s cohesion is widening. It could happen on the base of unconditional observance of human rights and European choice for the Belarusian people. This autumn, in October, the democratic forces plan holding European March, a rally that would demonstrate Belarusian’s desire to live in united Europe. Talks with a number of parties and public associations have taken place already. The regime which has been talking about the importance of the European choice for the Belarusian economy, could support March.