Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the president-elect and head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, recorded a video address on the so-called Day of Unity of the Peoples of Belarus and Russia, celebrated by the two countries’ dictators on April 2.
“Flags of a foreign country are again hung all over Belarus – flags of the country that started a war in the center of Europe, that kills civilians in Ukraine every day and threatens our security and independence. So what kind of unity should we celebrate, and why do the Belarusians need it? It seems that Lukashenko and Putin need this unity to turn Belarus into a nuclear storage facility for Russia. Under the guise of ‘unity of the peoples’, they learn from each other how to oppress people. They have made Belarus a testing ground for Russian military aggression and decided to bring nuclear weapons to our lands to organize a second Chernobyl in Belarus,” says Tsikhanouskaya.
Tsikhanouskaya emphasized that on March 25, Putin announced the placement of nuclear weapons in Belarus. “The Kremlin understands perfectly well that nuclear storage facilities are targets for missile strikes. And that’s why they decided to place these nuclear warehouses not near their bunkers and residences but next to the Belarusians’ homes. Next to villages and towns where people who have always been against war, nuclear weapons, dictators, and their fantasies of a great empire live.”
“Belarus is not Russia’s nuclear dump site. Not a testing ground, not a guberniya [a territorial subdivision of the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire], and not just a piece of land. Belarus is a sovereign state and a free Belarusian nation. We do not support imperial ideas. Belarusians need neither the Union State nor the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) that lead to the placement of nuclear weapons in our country. A free Belarus will rediscover the option of cooperating with Europe. Belarus will join and create alliances that protect the lives, security, and well-being of Belarusians and not endanger our children’s future.”
On March 25, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on the international community to introduce “adequate and tough” sanctions against Lukashenko and Putin and demand the withdrawal of the Russian military from the territory of Belarus. Valery Sakhashchyk, the United Transitional Cabinet representative for Defense and National Security, commented to Belsat that “it is worth taking such steps that would make the Russian troops’ stay in Belarus uncomfortable”.