Updated at 17:39,28-11-2020

Nyaklyayew expresses concern about West’s changing policy on Belarus

By Syarhey Karalevich, BelaPAN

The European Union and the United States are changing their stance on Belarus, and these changes are negative rather than positive, Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, chairman of the “Tell the Truth!” movement, was quoted as saying by the organization’s press office.

On Thursday, Mr. Nyaklyayew and other Belarusian opposition politicians met with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Poland’s Sejm (lower parliamentary house) to discuss the situation in Belarus ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

The West appears to have concluded that it is better to tolerate the Belarusian regime for the time being then to create one more flashpoint in Eastern Europe, Mr. Nyaklyayew commented.

There are many negative signs, including the fact that Belarusian opposition forces have been essentially been excluded from political relations with Western countries, Mr. Nyaklyayew said. He warned against putting the Belarus issue on the backburner to focus on Ukraine. These issues need to be addressed as one package, otherwise Belarus may become completely dependent on Russia by the time the EU remembers about it, he said.

According to Mr. Nyaklyayew, he told Polish lawmakers what the Belarusians should do to preserve their independence rather than how the EU or the United States could help them.
Mr. Nyaklyayew said that the most important things for Belarus were development, reform and peaceful change. He accused the government of trying to pass stagnation off as stability and pointed to the country`s “economic weakness” and dependence on Russia as the main threat to its independence.

Mr. Nyaklyayew emphasized the need for infrastructural integration between Belarus and the EU. In particular, he suggested that Belarus should join the Bologna Process, which is aimed at creating a European Higher Education Area, and enact local border traffic agreements with Lithuania and Poland.

Representatives of eight Belarusian opposition organizations took part in the meeting, including Anatol Lyabedzka, chairman of the United Civic Party; Syarhey Kalyakin, chairman of the Spravedlivy Mir (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left (BPL); Yury Hubarevich, first deputy chairman of the Movement for Freedom; Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, chairman of the “Tell the Truth!” movement, and Alyaksey Yanukevich, chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front. Eight representatives of the Belarusian ethnic community in Poland were also present at the meeting.