Alyaksandr Lukashenka to EU: You should sit down at negotiating table and start talking to us
If the European Union’s leaders want to establish normal relations with the Belarusian authorities, they should sit down at the negotiating table and discuss existing problems, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday.
"But you don’t want to do so! This means that you don’t need this normalization," the Belarusian leader said.
"If you want to establish normal relations with us and you see that something is wrong with us, we can also see a lot of flaws with you, so why not sit down at the negotiating table and discuss the issues," he said. "Instead of talking, democratic Europe banned entry to 232 people, even my children," Mr. Lukashenka said. "Why so? Ok, my elder son is my aide, but my younger son, Dzmitry, has nothing to do with politics at all. He didn’t take any part in the election. And this child [eight-year-old Kolya]’? He knows nothing about politics! Are you crazy? Do you really want a normal dialogue with me, with Belarus after that? I can cite even more crazy things you did. You banned entry to judges. Why? Judges make decisions in accordance with the law, and these decisions are based on the provisions of the law. You banned entry to them. This is pressure on judges!"
"You also put pressure in economic areas," Mr. Lukashenka said. "You saw someone near the president and said that they financed the regime. I’ve never taken a single rubel for myself from any businessman. Never! Nobody can accuse me of that. You pressurize entrepreneurs. Why? Maybe, this is how you want to get rid of competitors."
Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that he could cite a thousand more absurd accusations made by the European Union against Belarus, with one of them being the existence of so-called political prisoners. "Ok, you say Statkevich is a political prisoner. He was at least engaged in politics and was a presidential candidate, but why do you call bandits and hooligans ‘political prisoners’?" he said. "If people engage in the fifth column’s opposition activities, if they join the opposition, they instantly become welcome in the West and you support them."
"You demand releasing the so-called political prisoners, rehabilitating them and so on," Mr. Lukashenka said. "To be honest, I have not followed these accusations and demands lately, but I would like to ask you the specific question: if a person was involved in a mass riot, if this person was convicted in accordance with the Belarusian law, why do you criticize me? I could understand if you criticized the court. After all, you advocate the separation of powers and an independent judiciary. Why do you have a problem with me then? Why do you want me to go and release them? Why? Would the chancellor or the president in Germany or in France go and set someone free? They would not even discuss the matter! However, you are dragging me into the issue. The law is harsh, but it is the law. This was not invented by me. Those who staged the mass riot knew that the punishment might be extremely harsh. Presidential candidates smashed windows, doors, made a mess. Our TV channels showed that and your TV channels broadcast that too. What would you do? Naturally, you would jail them. Why do you criticize us for doing the same? You call us undemocratic and so on. What has recently happened in your democratic Northern Ireland? Mass beatings coupled with the use of tear gas. People die. You make no bones about it. You pour water on them in freezing weather without any remorse. We have never used even water cannons. Never ever! You want us to leave a government building unprotected? We have security forces and the law to protect it. What does it have to do with dictatorship? Everything is in compliance with the law. You start demanding impossible things from us."
"If you are so democratic, if you value human beings, their freedom, their lives, why did you bomb out Libya?" Mr. Lukashenka said. "The French were in the vanguard of the campaign. Why did you put Egypt in a doggy style position? Why did you destroy Iraq? You did not even apologize to anyone, neither to the public, nor to the Iraqi people. What weapons did you find there? What is going on in Afghanistan? Why do you demand something from us while terrorizing countries throughout the world. Your actions bring much more harm than the things you accuse us of."