Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Stanislau Shushkevich: Belarusian dictatorship is much more cruel and mean

It has been stated in an interview to charter97.org by the first leader of independent Belarus, chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada Stanislau Shushkevich.

We remind that on May 8 Ukraine cancelled holding the summit of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in Yalta. The spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the country explained that by the fact that a number of European leaders refused to participate.

Five presidents of European countries, in particular Romania, Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Montenegro directly stated that they withdrew their participation from the summit because of the case of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. German president has not stated that directly, but this reason of withdrawal followed from the comment of the Foreign Ministry of Germany.

Besides, the presidents of Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Italy, Austria and Slovenia refused to arrive to the summit, officially referring to other reasons; and in some cases concern over the case of Tymoshenko had been still expressed.

However, the EU does not show as principled stand towards Belarus, where 14 political prisoners are kept behind the bars.

"Ukraine is a great European country, and Belarus is a little one. That’s what explains it all. The decision of the European leaders not to go to Yalta is certainly a right move. It would be good such actions would be extended to Belarus, which is trampling upon human rights much more cruelly and meanly. Political prisoners are imprisoned, opposition leaders are abducted and murdered, elections are rigged. I consider myself suffering from crackdown as well: I have pension benefits of 40 cents for my merits in the state service... but no one is concerned about that!

Ukraine is far more important for the EU than Belarus. Actions of the EU are proportional to the size of the country. There are more grounds for pressure on Belarus. But Europe does not act in this way towards Belarusian dictatorship. There are many measures aimed at showing Lukashenka how he should behave. Europe has a wide armoury and they should not be afraid to use them.

I think that cancelling the Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus, which had been already offered by Bundestag and Sweden parliament, are the right actions. It is wrong to go into a country where human rights are grossly violated. The right measure has been proposed, and I am sure it will work. There should not be two opinions on this issue in Europe"
, Stanislau Shushkevich said.