The Belarusian government uses migrants to blackmail Europe, says Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

ATHENS: According to the country’s opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian government is using migrants to blackmail Europe.

In an interview in Athens, where she appeared at the Athens Democracy Forum, she explained how Belarusian authorities are putting pressure on Europe’s borders.

“All these groups of people who come to the borders, they come with KGB people, with Belarusians (secret police). They are followed by people from the system. That’s why they are “organized groups,” said Tsikhanouskaya.

“Of course it is a difficult question for Europe what to do with these people, because these migrants are also hostages of the system. They are not guilty of falling victim to this regime. But you should not let the regime blackmail Europe . ” with migrants. “

President Alexander Lukashenko is planning a constitutional referendum to legitimize a reallocation of powers and to establish a new governing body called the All Belarus People’s Assembly. But the Belarusian opposition has declared that it will not recognize the result.

“Everyone in Belarus understands that this referendum is like“ dust in the eyes ”of Europe. Like ‘Look, I’m doing something for democratization’. I think people will be so scared because of the violence that nobody will vote, ”said Tsikhanouskaya.

Earlier this year, in May, the opposition leader took part in another democracy forum in Athens.

Two opposition supporters also attended, but were arrested in Minsk on their return journey after their plane had to land in Belarus. It is still unclear what happened to Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

“We are waiting for the official results of the investigation by the ICAO (the UN aviation authority). After that we will draw conclusions and bring the guilty to justice. “

Tsikhanouskaya has already discussed the possibility of initiating international criminal proceedings because of the incident with the Greek Interior Minister Makis Voridis.

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