Tsikhanouskaya: Belarus unrelated to EU-Russia relations

“I really don’t like the European Union to put Russia’s issues and the Belarusian issue into one basket. We are absolutely a separate case. They can build their relationship only on economic issues or however they want.” [EPA-EFE/JAKUB GAVLAK]

The future of Belarus has nothing to do with the type of relations between the EU and Russia, exiled democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya told EURACTIV in an interview.

Asked about the internal divisions in the EU when it comes to Russia and particularly the Nord Stream 2 case, Tsikhanouskaya replied: “I really don’t like the European Union to put Russia’s issues and the Belarusian issue into one basket. We are absolutely a separate case. They can build their relationship only on economic issues or however they want.”

“We want to get rid of the regime, and we are not an appendix of Russia, we are a separate country, a separate nation. We have to get rid of this perception that there is no Belarus without Russia. No, these leaders can support each other, but it’s Belarusian people to whom democratic countries have to listen to,” she added.

Tsikhanouskaya explained that Washington is “deeply involved” in the case of Belarus and that the opposition is in constant dialogue with the US ambassador to Minsk.

“I think that they respect Belarusians for their strive for democratic changes, and they’re ready to support and unite their efforts with the European Union’s efforts, and Canada’s and the UK’s, of course,” she said. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)

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