14 November

Andrei Sannikov: Every arrangement is justified for rescue of political prisoners


Patience of the US has snapped, so such strong measures have been taken. In order to rescue lives and health of political prisoners, any measures are justified, said the international coordinator of the Charter97 Andrei Sannikov, commenting on the decision of the US to block accounts of Belarusian oil processor Belneftekhim.

According to Andrei Sannikov, the US has passed from something on mind to something in kind. There have been several attempts to hold confidential talks with representatives of Belarusian regime, and we know that a meeting of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs David Kramer and Deputy Head of Lukashenkas Administration Natallya Pyatkevich was such an attempt. Obviously there was a hope that Belarusian authorities would keep some of their pledges. I think it primarily concerned release of political prisoners and repressions cessation. But the situation is changing to the worse. Harshest steps are taken against political prisoners, Andrei Klimau, Zmitser Dashkevich, Artur Finkevich, to those who had been arrested on the eve of the European March, who in fact was tortured in the remand prison Akrestsin Street The US has lost patience, and such strong measures have been taken. I believe that in order to rescue lives and health of political prisoners, any measures are justified. When we are dealing with a dictatorial regime which does not want to listen to any sound proposals of Europe and of the democratic opposition, such steps would be taken, the diplomat said.

In the near future, Sannikov believes, the US will bring their decision into accord with their European partners whose position on political prisoners and repressions in Belarus is very harsh.

We know that the Belarusian export has been staying afloat thanks to oil products sales. And we know that major importers of Belarusian oil are in Europe. They are the Netherlands, the Great Britain and other states. Naturally, all these deals are paid via banks of those countries where buyers and daughter companies are situated. That is why it is a rater serious blow at this business. I think that if conclusions would not be drawn, the Belarusian authorities would show that they are absolutely hopeless, the international coordinator of the Charter97 press-center.

On Tuesday, November 13, George Bush froze accounts of the Belarusian state-run concern Belneftekhim. The reason for that was that the concern is controlled by Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Sanctions of the U.S. Treasury concern all Belneftekhim offices in Germany, Ukraine, Latvia, Russia and China, and the American branch of the concern Belneftekhim USA. The US demand to stop repressions in Belarus and release political prisoners.