The leader of the democratic forces spoke in Berlin at the first meeting of the Alliance of Groups “For Democratic Belarus”. Such groups already exist in 22 countries around the world. The event was attended by heads of parliamentary groups from Austria, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. Parliamentarians from Ireland, the United States, and Ukraine joined them online.
“Thus, today we have a powerful international coalition of allies,” said Tsikhanouskaya. The Belarusian leader urged to support the European aspirations of Belarusians:
“For us, the European Union is the only alternative to the ‘Russian world’, which is a world of violence, injustice, and tyranny. Belarus can preserve its independence and guarantee freedom and prosperity to all its citizens only as a part of the European Union.”
Sviatlana particularly emphasized the merits of Belarusian volunteers and the importance of providing assistance to Ukraine:
“We also need to help Ukraine safeguard its sovereignty and its European choice. Many Belarusian volunteers gave their lives for the victory of Ukraine. Give Ukrainians everything they need to win the war. After all, by assisting Ukraine, you assist Belarus, and vice versa. The destinies of our countries are intertwined. Free and European Belarus will be a deathblow to Putin’s project to restore the Russian Empire.”
In her speech, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya highlighted that it is necessary to continue putting pressure on the regime and demand the immediate release of political prisoners. She also called on the deputies to simplify the procedures for the legalization of Belarusians in exile:
“At this point, a comprehensive solution is required. This includes the issuance of foreign passports, the extension of residence permits, and the simplification of legalization procedures. On our part, we are preparing to issue a new Belarusian passport following the example of the Baltic countries during the Soviet occupation.”
“We are already working on the European future of Belarus. We have drafted a new Constitution. It must ensure that there will never again be a dictatorship in Belarus. We show Belarusians that the state can be different,” Sviatlana confidently asserted. “The next step should be to legitimize this alternative system of power. And this is impossible without international recognition.”
At the end of her speech, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on the participants to join the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on November 12. “On this day three years ago, 31-year-old Raman Bandarenka was killed by Lukashenko’s thugs. This date is a serious occasion to remind the world about Belarus,” said Tsikhanouskaya.
The Belarusian leader also took part in a rally of Belarusians near the Brandenburg Gate. She was joined by representatives of the RAZAM community, the People’s Embassies of Belarus, and the Libereco organization, which supports Belarusian political prisoners.
About a hundred people attended the event; some of them came with portraits of political prisoners, including those of Ihar Losik, Maryna Zolatava, Iryna Slaunikava, and others.
During her speech, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya encouraged Belarusians to be more active in working with politicians and the media — to raise the topic of Belarus at all levels: meetings, rallies, and conferences.