16 December 2017, Saturday, 6:18

Belarus In Heart Of EU

4
DZIANIS KAZAKEVICH

Europeans are much more sympathetic to the Belarusians, than it is generally thought.

Brussels is the EU's heart, the place where decisions related to billions of people and for decades are taken every day, where Belarus seems to be something distant, insignificant, ineresting for very few people. However, over the past two days, 23 and 24 November Belarus has been mentioned in the news not once — in the first place, there was the Eastern Partnership summit, and secondly, four street actions were held: a protest against invitation of Lukashenka to the summit; the picket in support of Belarusian political prisoner Dzmitry Paliyenka; the picket "Where is Hanchar?" in memory of those killed by the Lukashenka regime; and, finally, the protest against the construction of the Belarusian NPP in Astravets.

During these two eventful days, I was able to take an active part in all four protests, had a few conversations with interesting people and made a few observations that I would like to share with the readers of the Charter97.org.

The most important thing is that the murder of Lukashenka’s opponents in 1999 and later, is something much more than politics. This is a tragedy on a national scale. Imagine how much richer the political life of Belarus would be, if bright Viktar Hanchar and charismatic Henadz Karpenka would have lived, not even taking formal political office.

Imagine how much more humanly the police would behave if the unquestioned authority in their environment Yury Zakharanka was alive. Imagine how much more interesting would all Belarusian media be, not just the individual resources, if creative Aleh Biabenin and talented Dzmitry Zavadski continued to work. Imagine how much better would be an intellectual and humanitarian life of Belarus, if philosopher and philanthropist, Anatol Krasouski would continue to deal with the ethics of family life.

The second observation comes directly from the streets of Brussels: Western Europeans are much more sympathetic to the Belarusians, than it is generally thought. Yes, most people pass by without paying attention to the posters with the faces of strangers, but when talking with those who have come to ask: "Guys, what are you standing for?" I could just physically feel genuine support and sympathy.

And thirdly, because of the maneuvers West-2017 and the Astravets NPP, the Lithuanians are now our allies. I was able to talk with the organizer of the picket against the Belarusian NPP, Member of European Parliament from Lithuania Petras Austrevicius. According to him, despite the fact that Belarus is a separate country, the Belarusian NPP is the problem of the EU as it threatens the safety of the EU citizens. Therefore, the issue pof the Belarusian NPP should be discussed in all of Belarus-EU talks on a variety of topics.

Petras Austrevicius wished the Belarusian opposition to temporarily forget all differences and unite against a common enemy. He promised to continue to support the democratic forces and the protection of human rights in Belarus.

Dzianis Kazakevich, specially for the Charter97.org.