The protests against the Belarusian-Russian exercises will continue.
In the end of the action "For Peaceful Belarus", which was held today in the center of Minsk, the leader of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich said that the next opposition action would also be held with the demand to abolish the Belarusian-Russian exercises "West-2017".
— So far, this idea is only being discussed by the activists of the Council of the Belarusian National Congress, I cannot say much now. We will wait for the second half of July, when the Council will meet and the decision will be formally made. There is a realization that before the exercises that begin in September, something needs to be done, to identify the will of people for independence and rejection of the presence of a foreign army of the state that is at war, also with our neighbors. Their presence on our land is dangerous, " — the BNC leader told reporters. — I have suggestions on the format of the action, and it will differ from today’s one, but there are proposals on the date from other colleagues. We will bring all this together.
The main theme is a strategy, a plan, we are preparing for this, and at the same time we will discuss this action. As for the need for protest, there is a complete consensus in the BNC Council, because we are going to fight together, we understand that any protest, action begins with a small one, with its example.
If we wait until something ripens and hatches by itself, then if we had waited like this for these 23 years, then we would have probably already “waited away” the country.
I celebrate the Independence Day on August 25. This is connected with the State Emergency Committee, because Belarus became legally independent after the State Emergency Committee, when the declaration of July 27, 1990, was adopted as a constitutional law.
But the fact is that if we take on responsibility for the action in mid-September, then two actions one after another — it's very difficult. We decided to break this rule, known to any political scientis,t only for the sake of young people who were in jail in the "patriots case," because it was a sacred thing and it was a very necessary and right decision.
If someone wants to come out on July 27, August 25, then please, we welcome this, but we will concentrate our forces on the threat.
— Could you tell us in more detail, what kind of threat do you see in the West-2017 exercises?
"You know, the more we talk about it and protest, the less real it will be. But even 10% of the probability of a threat is already very much. I am against the presence of any foreign military in our land. Especially from those states that are at war.
I believe that we should, in accordance with our Constitution, strive for neutrality, having good relations with our neighbors. The Russian troops are fighting with Ukraine, Russia is in conflict with the NATO.
All these scenarios, the breakthroughs of the Suwalki corridor can be very costly for us, because they train, train, and then do. It would be better if we could exercise by ourselves, without this army, especially in such numbers. Nobody knows what will come to the head of the Russian government in a month or two, especially on the eve of the presidential election. No one can say this.
I'm afraid for my family and my country. I will not assess how much threat there is - 10%, 20% or 30%, but there is a danger and we need to react. The action will take place, it will be held unexpectedly and will be very symbolic.