23 October 2017, Monday, 18:10

Statkevich: Lukashenka Does Not Trust Belarusian Army In Situation Of Popular Protests

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Mikalai Statkevich

Currently, the priority is to defend the neutrality and independence of the country.

One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich stated that to Charter97.org.

– Military exercises West-2017 will be held in Belarus this autumn, which cause concern around the world, as they threaten regional security. How would you comment as a military officer on the upcoming maneuvers?

– Firstly, they are joint exercises with a foreign state and they are directed against the military alliance of the leading countries of the world. In fact, the West-2017 exercises lure Belarus into the conflict with the countries of the West, and nobody knows how they will unfold. Given what is happening in Ukraine, the arrival of Russian troops in Belarus may end completely unpredictable. These exercises are a gross violation of the Constitution of Belarus, and the articles on our country’s neutrality, in particular.

Secondly, there is a real threat that Russian troops will not leave Belarus. Dictator Lukashenka has become too deeply involved in dubious projects with Russia, he owes much to the eastern neighbor and depends too much on him today. Therefore, the West-2017 exercises threaten the very existence of an independent Belarusian state.

There is one more point. In autumn, a new growth of social protests is expected in Belarus. We are waiting for this, and the authorities are waiting as well, and they are afraid. And exactly by the autumn, Lukashenka invites foreign troops to Belarus. In September, the military maneuvers will be held, and in October, exercises of Russian special forces will begin in Pukhavichy and Asipovichy regions. Perhaps, the dictator is no longer sure of the loyalty of the Belarusian army in the situation of mass popular protests.

– The BNC headed by you has become the leader of the Belarusian political forces. You have repeatedly stated that you are ready to fight for a peaceful neutral Belarus. How will the BNC resist the upcoming exercises?

– We must protect our independence and peace in our land. Belarus is a peaceful, neutral country, and we will not allow ourselves to be drawn into wars with anyone any more.

The main demand, which will sound at the rally in Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk on July 3 at 14.00, will be not to draw Belarus into military conflicts and cancel the West-2017 exercises.

We will demand precisely the cancellation of these maneuvers, we do not need foreign troops in Belarus. As an officer I can say: the Belarusian army itself is able to conduct exercises perfectly well.

We have only one way to protect our independence – to go to a peaceful protest rally at Kastrychnitskaya Square. Unfortunately, there is no decent parliament in Belarus, where the issue of the cancellation of exercises with a foreign army could be solved by law. The regime has left the Belarusians only street rallies for expressing their position. Therefore, we can stop these exercises only by going to the Square.

– What will you advise Belarusians to do in the face of the serious threat to the independence of their country?

– The rally on July 3 is needed not only to fight against the foreign intervention. If we come to the Square in Minsk, we will be able to defend our worthy future.

The whole world is treading along the path of progress. In a little while, a new technological revolution is expected in developed countries, when in the next few years the alternative energy will become more profitable than the hydrocarbon one. This means a complete collapse of Lukashenka’s economy, which is tied to Russian oil. Lukashenka has turned himself into a beggar at the masters' table of Russia and wants Belarusians to be this way. What will happen to our industry, when in a few years the mass production of electric vehicles will start? The dictator strangles all the manifestations of creative initiative in Belarus and condemns our children to live in a poverty-struck, backward country.

If we go soft now, it will be a cost too dear for our children.

We must raise the issue of peace on the Belarusian land now, without delaying it. Belarusians know what War is. Once we paid the life of every third for the war of totalitarian regimes. Now they want to draw Belarusians into military conflicts again.

Therefore, our future priority is to defend the neutrality and independence of our country.

It's time to fight for the liberation of Belarus. And not only from the external occupation: it is necessary to liberate the country from the internal occupant for the sake of our children's future and normal development.

On July 3 at 2:00 pm, we must take to Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk to protect peaceful Belarus and fight for the liberation of our country.