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Zmitser Dashkevich: EU encourages Lukashenka to take new “hostages”

2015 2015-08-04T12:34:49+0300 2015-08-04T12:34:49+0300 en
Dzmitry Dashkevich. Photo by RFE/RL.

Dzmitry Dashkevich. Photo by RFE/RL.

Lifting sanctions from 24 Belarusian officials and judges means unprincipled trade ahead of the so called election.

Zmitser Dashekvich, a co-head of Young Front and former political prisoner, said it to

– The European Union lifted sanctions from 24 Belarusian officials and judges, including those who delivered guilty verdicts in politically motivates cases. How can you comment on the decision?

– I think all of us have become objects of illustrative trade for European politicians. To a large extent, this is their choice, the choice of European, Belarusian and other officials. I do not think we have the right to say what they should or shouldn't do.

This is their decision: officials in Russia decide what is right for them, officials in Brussels choose what is right for them. I regard the former and the latter equally. The funniest thing in this situation is that the same people, European politicians, set demands to the Belarusian authorities and presented ultimatums to Lukashenka... Now they are backtracking.

This is unprincipled trade. It is due to such behaviour that people think politics is dirty. People see that politicians do one thing today and another thing tomorrow. It forms their attitude to “politicians”.

– Can it be connected to the upcoming “elections” in Belarus, in your opinion?

– Of course. The Belarusian regime apparently made a deal with Europe.

Some can say, okay, the deal means some improvements in some civil and political fields. They may think that Europe made a concession and will expect a concession from the Belarusian regime.

It could be so if Belarus carried out structural reforms. But they cannot be carried out. It's not the first year when we have seen it. We are moving around the circle for the third decade. We make one step forward and one step backward. They jailed people to have an opportunity to exchange them for loans. They release some prisoners a year before the expiration of their term to get loans, and then jail new people.

The actions by European politicians encourage Lukashenka to take more and more new hostages. Even if he releases political prisoners in exchange for 24 officials, he will understand: he has a tool allowing him to jail a new group of hostages at the “elections” to sell them later.

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