Zmitser Bandarenka: Decentralisation is needed
0:03, — Politics
The Belarusian and the West should get rid of old clichés.
Zmitser Bandarenka, the leader of European Belarus civil campaign, expressed this thought in an interview with Radio Racja.
There's much talk today about the 2015 elections. Al Jazeera said after the “parliamentary elections” that Yaraslau Ramanchuk wants to be a single candidate. Alyaksandr Milinkevich is also said to want to be a single candidate. Is proposing a single candidate possible? Should we think about working out the common strategy and forcing the authorities to carry out free elections?
I regard looking for a single candidate as an outdated approach. The situation has radically changed. December 19 was the turning point in Belarus like it was in Poland on December 13, 1981. The methods of the Belarusian democratic forces that had been suitable before December 19, 2010, became useless.
Lukashenka got scared and began to fight against opposition members as if they were terrorists. The secret services changed their approaches to Belarusian democrats and patriots. In no country of the world eight out of ten presidential candidates and their teams can be thrown into the KGB jail and tortured cruelly. They wanted us to obey and sign collaboration contracts. Applying total pressure on all democratic structures is a new, if we may say so, strategy of the authorities. The opposition should use its new strategy in response. But “candies” in old wrappers are still thrown in.
Do the political leaders, who make these proposals, understand it?
Some leaders understand, because they and I were standing naked against the wall hearing clicking of tasers and batons over our heads. We were tortured, threatened to be raped and killed or said our relatives would be arrested. There are people who remember this and understand that the situation changed.
However, there are those imitating free political will. They talk in private conversation through what they had to go, but don't say it in public.
We need to analyse the situation thoroughly before working out a new strategy. What we see today is a throw-in of old clichés. We need decentralisation and methods of “partisan polymarketing” to oppose the totalitarian authorities. One centre can be easily controlled.
Andrei Sannikov's associates and the people supporting him as a presidential candidate, all of them stood for tough sanctions against the Belarusian regime, for economic sanctions. Do you have the same views? Can it solve the problems?
In my opinion, the dictatorship is not a problem of only the Belarusian opposition and the people of Belarus. “Lukashenkanisation” has affected the system of political power in Russia. Yanukevich uses many Belarusian methods. Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are 200 million people. Tentacles of the Belarusian dictatorship reached the European Union. Belarus smuggles oil products. There are people who buy these “solvents” and “thinners”. How does it comply with the laws of democratic EU countries?
Approaches of both the Belarusian opposition and international community should be changed.
When they say: the Belarusian opposition must do this or that, move right or left... Will it change anything? No, it won't. It is not the primary factor in the situation, when the volume of trade between the Lukashenka regime and the EU has doubled for the last two years. In fact, Lukashenka received a gift of 10 billion dollars. European officials don't like to talk about it.
Sanctions are not the matter. Visa restrictions is a symbolic gesture to support the Belarusian political prisoners. We need to take seriously the problem of the Belarusian dictatorship and revival of the Russian Empire in its aggressive form. We need a new approach of leading international players.
Why does Europe take decisions on Belarus so hard? In your opinion, who lobbies Lukashenka's interests in the West?
I am a coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign. In spite of all drawback of the European Union, I want my country to be a EU member in future, because it is probably the most successful project in history ever. People like to travel without borders, have a decent life, use the rights and opportunists that most people in other parts of the world don't even dare to dream about.
The EU uses the liberum veto principle that allowed the country with population of 900,000 people, which has trade deals projects with the dictatorship, to block the decision of the whole Union.
We must do our work. Belarus is on the world's agenda today regularly appearing in the media around the world. It's a big plus. The Belarusian opposition leaders meet with heads of the world's leading countries. We need to achieve an effective solution for the Belarusian problem not in the distant future, but in the nearest time.
Write your comment (47)