Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

PA OSCE Vice-President: I express solidarity with my colleague Andrei Sannikov

Tonino Picula, Vice-President of the PA OSCE and a former Foreign Minister of Croatia, has expressed a diplomatic solidarity with a political prisoner Andrei Sannikov.

"As a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, a country which has formally become a member of the European Union, and as a parliamentarian of the country which is fighting for justice and democracy, and which had serious problems 20 years ago, I want to express my solidarity with all the people who are fighting for democratic society in their countries.

I know very well what it is like to live in an undemocratic country, and I know very well how to lead a country out of a complete deadlock. But I would like to say that no one has a right to leave courageous people fighting all by themselves. And it is unpleasant for me that the so-called democratic countries of Europe sometimes think of their interests and not always remember those who are fighting for democracy in their countries and in Europe in general. And I am interested: where are the borders of Europe?

Many politicians are speaking about the borders between the European Union and the countries outside the Eurozone. And I think that the people of Belarus have a full right to consider themselves members of the family of democratic countries and those who should enjoy all the basic rights and freedoms.

That is why I want to show my solidarity with all Belarusian political prisoners, who fight for democracy.

Thus, for instance, Andrei Sannikov, a presidential candidate, is formally my colleague. I was a minister in hard times and understand all the difficulty of work of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs in the challenging periods in the county. I know that Sannikov did not support the policy chosen by the authorities of your country. And I think that Sannikov’s example is a very important demonstration of the real nature of the regime in Belarus"
, Tonino Picula stated in an interview to charter97.org.