Sergey Karaganov: "Pressure on Belarus is not only moral but also profitable policy"
The press service of Russia's President Vladimir Putin released on 21 July a verbatim report of the meeting of the Russian president with members of the Council for Promoting Institutions of Civil Society and Human Rights. This verbatim report quotes the speech delivered by the Council member Sergey Karaganov about the situation in Belarus.
Mr.Karaganov turned attention to the problem that causes great concern of the Council and asked the leadership of Russia for help, because civil actions alone will not do the job. Sergey Karaganov said that in Belarus the situation with human rights is getting worse. There are people who are in prison for political reasons, thousands of people are imprisoned for stealing a spikelet. A system of fear has been created, the free press has been stifled, the Russian media are made to leave. Even the Golos Rossii and Mayak radio stations have been shut down.
Further on Sergey Karaganov reminded about the creation of the public Russian-Belarusian human rights committee and about statements made. However, according to Karaganov, this is not only the cause of civil society, the government acting within its undertakings and within the Union agreement, as well as within OSCE, should – not only has the right but also should – defend the human rights in Belarus – Belarusians and Russians who are in Belarusian prisons or are persecuted.
Karaganov said that "hardly any cases of consulate employees visiting the Russians often imprisoned in Belarus for weird reasons. No people that fall under appropriate agreements get deported, and of course the situation has to be changed drastically from the standpoint of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What is important is that if such situation continues in Belarus, a certain group of despaired people, and also those who compete with us from abroad are sure to provoke small-scale bloody events", following which the picture will be shown on CNN for years. "That's why pressure on our friends-neighbors is not only moral policy but also profitable police, the government should join in, we call on You to contribute to that", said Sergey Karaganov.