Viktar Ivashkevich: “Belarusian People Support European Choice”
In October this year the European March will take place in Belarus. “We shall propose preparation of European March “For Freedom!” to be held in October this year. The democratic forces should hold a mass rally which would visually confirm that the Belarusian people support the European choice. We offer the government to normalize the relations with Europe by fulfilling conditions of the European Commission. It would allow Belarus getting serious economic benefits, considerably improving the life of common people,” told the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party Vintsuk Vyachorka in an interview to the Charter’97 press-center.
- Viktar, to your mind, what are the main results of the Congress of the democratic forces?
- The Congress hadn’t aimed to choose a leader or to define any turning and revolutionary points. Its aim was to lift some misunderstanding among the coalition members, to confirm that the coalition is preserved, that there is no split, though there are different thoughts and viewpoints. By the way, I would like to say that the adopted strategy is not antagonistic to the one proposed by Mikola Statkevich. But these two documents have accents differently placed. And for today the task of the democratic forces, of the new bodies formed, to form a realistic plan of actions and started concrete steps in realizing this strategy. And I am convinced that while making these concrete steps the strategy adopted the democratic forces would be merged with approaches and documents put together by Statkevich.
- What are the accents put together by Statkevich?
- The matter is that in the strategy adopted for the democratic forces three objects are defined. The first one is the people, different social groups, to which we should address different messages and explain them that the proposal of the European Union, contacts and cooperation with the West are a way out from the economic deadlock Lukashenka had brought the country into with his orientation towards Russia exclusively. The second one is informational work with the authorities, elites, establishment, which are to be explained the same, that it is in their best interest Belarus having wide contacts in the world, and not being restricted to contacts with Russia only, or to such rogue countries as Iran and Venezuela; that European proposals, their realization would directly improve standards of living of concrete officials. And the third one, we should influence European and American establishment which would collectively demand democratic changes from the Belarusian regime. As a result of all these actions real democratic elections should take place. And after the democratic elections a new history of our country should begin.
This strategy makes an emphasis on negotiations. We admit that talks wit the regime could be carries out, and that as a result of realization of all named directions of work the regime could accept concessions and agree for democratic elections. In Statkevich’s proposals the emphasis is made on our raising awareness of the population and holding mass rallies with pro-European slogans, which would make the regime to agree to democratic elections. This all should be combined: an informational campaign should be carries out for the population, mass actions should take place, talks with European and American structures should take place, and there should be proposals to the regime about possible negotiations. It means that we are not going to “stake up” everyone like Lukashenka, we are ready to speak to all people of the establishment in order to decide how to solve the crisis situation together. We have one country, Belarus.
- What are the steps democrats want to make first of all?
- After deciding upon the mission of the co-chairmen of the Political Council, the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front Vintsuk Vyachorka was given a task to be in charge of the informational campaign, mass actions and foreign policy activities. Considering this part of work the Belarusian Popular Front is responsible for, we shall propose to prepare European March “For Freedom!” in October this year. In the near future we are to discuss this idea at a session of the Political Council. We view European March not as a one-time rally. A campaign is to take place which would explain that cooperation with Europe is a way out for the country’s economy. We should organize a mass rally which would visually confirm that the Belarusian nation supports the European choice. We offer the government to normalize the relations with Europe by fulfilling conditions of the European Commission. It would allow Belarus getting great economic benefits, considerable improving the life of common people”.