Updated at 16:23,20-06-2018

Congressman Chris Smith: Place of Lukashenko - in the Hague


"Belarus - the last dictatorship in Europe - although, of course, there are other states, now causing alarm of a rollback to dictatorships", the co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, congressman Chris Smith said in an interview with Voice of America.

"Under the rule of Lukashenko, Belarus has gained a reputation as one of the countries with the most difficult situation in human rights sphere. Two presidential candidates are still behind bars, the rest were subjected to arrests and imprisonment, there are those who are awaiting a trial. Recently, some of the best and strongest human rights defenders of Belarus have been jailed - Lukashenko and his KGB seeking to crush the spirit of Belarusians. And today, the patience of Europe, USA and other countries is coming to an end", Chris Smith said.

According to him, there are people who still believe in possible transformation of the regime. However, he believes the opposite.

"I personally think, the place of Lukashenko - in the International Court in the Hague. Lukashenko destroys and tortures people, running a country like Ceausescu. Time for change has come, - the politician said. - U.S. and European sanctions against the Lukashenko regime (in the U.S. - according to the Act in support of democracy and human rights in Belarus, developed by me in 2004), have established the list of Belarusian officials, who should be banned from entering the U.S., and also the list of enterprises and businesses controlled by the people close to Lukashenko, whose assets and doing business were frozen. These sanctions should be extended today".

Chris Smith hopes that the additional sanctions imposed by U.S. will be supported by the neighboring countries of Belarus.

"And I hope for Russia. I hope, Putin and others will realize, that having business with Lukashenko is shameful in the eyes of the world community. As in the case of Milosevic, who ended up in the Hague, the place of Lukashenko - the same, - head of the Helsinki Commission of the U.S. Congress noted. - I believe, that all dictatorships eventually come to an end, their survival and eternity are not guaranteed at all".