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An important political step by the United States

On April 4-5, meetings of working groups established as part of the Strategic Dialogue between the United States and the democratic forces of Belarus are taking place. These events are a continuation of communication based on the outcomes of bilateral meetings held in Washington in December. During those meetings, six working groups were formed between US political representatives and the democratic forces of Belarus.

"The creation of a platform for strategic dialogue between the United States and the democratic forces of Belarus is a significant political step by the United States in support of democratic transformations in Belarus. It is unprecedented, and as a Belarusian politician, I highly appreciate this initiative," stated Pavel Latushka, Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus and Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management.

The dialogue focuses on raising important and strategic issues for the future of the Belarusian people and the state within the established bilateral working groups.

The main areas of dialogue include:

  • Democracy and political matters;

  • Human rights and political prisoners;

  • Mechanisms of accountability;

  • Private sector and entrepreneurship;

  • Media and combating propaganda;

  • Identity, culture, education, sports, and diaspora.

Pavel Latushka, as a politician, shared his expectations from the strategic dialogue: "As the Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management and a representative in the Cabinet responsible for issues of regime accountability and sanctions policy, it is important to discuss specific mechanisms of pressure and holding representatives of the regime accountable. This involves discussing the use of tools such as the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and universal jurisdiction. In terms of sanctions policy, it is crucial to harmonize sanctions against the Lukashenko regime and Russia."

Pavel Latushka also emphasized: "At the same time, I hope that the strategic dialogue will not only focus on discussing the challenges and threats faced by Belarusian society and statehood but will also lead to concrete steps to ensure that democracy and human rights prevail in Belarus. As a politician, I believe it is essential to prioritize supporting the democratic majority in Belarusian society by demonstrating the effectiveness of democratic institutions, democratic countries, and international legal mechanisms in achieving justice."

The Belarusian people are our main strength and weapon. It is vital to continue motivating Belarusian society, proving that democracy is an effective system of governance capable of safeguarding human rights and freedoms, especially considering the severe repression faced by Belarusians, the most extensive in Europe in the past 50 years.

What tools can be used to achieve this purpose?

Pavel Latushka, Warsaw 2024 Photo: NAM-media

Pavel Latushka highlighted that democratic countries are encouraged to utilize the following tools to achieve the goal of democratizing Belarusian society and establishing a democratic form of government where the Belarusian people are the driving force behind political changes:

Firstly, holding Lukashenko accountable. Currently, the Belarusian people are suffering, while the criminal actions of Lukashenko are not receiving sufficient international attention. The tactic of “not angering the dictator” is a strategic mistake with potentially dire consequences, eroding faith among Belarusians in the effectiveness of democracy and partners’ solidarity.

Secondly, ensuring harmonized sanctions with Russia. Lukashenko leverages the economic ties between Russia and Belarus to benefit from sanctions, thereby maintaining a repressive apparatus and assisting Russia in its ongoing aggression against Ukraine.

Thirdly, supporting independent media. There is a decline in support for independent media, despite the majority of Belarusian society being opposed to war and aggression. Reducing support for independent media will limit the availability of objective and free information for Belarusians.

Fourthly, supporting national culture and identity. Russia, with the support of the dictator, systematically undermines the national identity of Belarusians, aiming to incorporate Belarus into Russia without military intervention in the future. It is crucial to acknowledge the ongoing destruction of Belarusian culture and statehood happening before the eyes of the world.

Fifthly, increasing opportunities for Belarusians to interact with democratic countries, including visa issuance and simplifying border crossings. This is important for fostering pro-European sentiments in Belarus.

The time has come for concrete steps. These steps may be small but should demonstrate to Belarusians that the democratic world stands united in its support for Belarusian society.



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