The leader of "European Belarus" has taken part in the ambitious Brussels Forum. "The dictator has helped my meetings in the capital of Europe," believes Andrei Sannikov.
On March 26-28 Andrei Sannikov presented Belarus at the famous Brussels Forum, which gathered the political, economic and intellectual elite of the world.
"Lukashenka has helped my meetings a lot, as in previous days together with independent journalists I came through searches, interrogations and confiscations. Many people knew about that and asked how the situation in Belarus would develop, expressed their solidarity. Besides, people in Brussels knew that I had announced my decision to run for presidency, and asked about opportunities of holding the presidential campaign in Belarus in detail," Andrei Sannikov said in an interview to charter97.org website.
As said by the politician, the today's Belarus was mentioned during Brussels Forum mostly in negative context: in connection with Lukashenka's ties with rogue regimes, deterioration of the democracy and massive violations of human rights.
"Brussels Forum offers a lot for understanding the tendency of the global politics and for strengthening international links and a state's image. Belarus can not only derive much benefit from such kind of events, but make its contribution to the world development. Today it is not happening only because Lukashenka is in power. The world elite does not regard him as a partner for solving such issues which are a concern of the whole world: economic development, reforming of the financial system, international security, world trade," Sannikov said.
The leader of "European Belarus" managed to hold many meetings and thoroughly discuss the situation in Belarus with Jerzy Buzek, Chairman of the European Parliament, Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and EU Neighborhood Policy of the European Commission, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of the NATO, Valdis Zatlers, President of the Republic of Latvia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, foreign ministers of a number of states, Werner Hoyer, Minister of State of the Federal Republic of Germany, Alexander Vershbow, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs for the Department of Defense of the United States, representatives of Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministries.
"Everyone I've talked to assessed the situation in Belarus objectively and try to find a possibility to help the development of the country. I persuaded my interlocutors that normal development of the country could only be guaranteed by democracy and democrats. Lukashenka does not demonstrate any desire to change the situation and part with his individual rule, so all changes are possible only after his resignation. Changes in Belarus are long overdue, and in the near future the society is to be ready for their implementation," Andrei Sannikov is convinced.
With the President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick
Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and EU Neighborhood Policy, the leader of "We Remember" Belarusian Foundation Iryna Krasouskaya and Andrei Sannikov
With the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek
With the Secretary General of the NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen
With the Minister of State of the Federal Republic of Germany Werner Hoyer
Serbian President Boris Tadić, Milan Roćen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, and Croatian president Ivo Josipović
With Alexander Vershbow, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs for the Department of Defense of the United States
Andrei Sannikov discussed with Konstantin Gryshchenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, rather not Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, but the goals set by the new government of Yanukovych. Ukraine is set to be committed to the policy of integration to Europe
The 5th Brussels Forum took place in the capital of Brussels on March 26-28. Traditionally heads of states, leaders of the EU, Foreign Ministers, senators, US Congressmen, official persons of Canada, Ukraine, Russia, parliamentarians, public leaders and scientists have taken part in the work of the forum.
Statements which can be called epoch-making were made at the forum. For instance, Ivo Josipović, Presdent of Croatia, and Boris Tadić, President of Serbia, who met just for the second time, undertook commitments to promote their countries' joining the European Union and winning stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia is to enter the EU in 2012. In this connection President Josipović promised that his country's membership would not block Serbia's aspiration, which applied for joining the EU in December last year.
A serious statement has been made by the Secretary General of the NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He called upon inviting Russia to the Euroatlantic missile-defense system which is being developed now.