Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is on a three-day working visit to Germany, where she meets with the leadership of the Federal Foreign Office, German Chancellery, the main political parties, and the Belarusian diaspora. The main purpose of the visit is to discuss the proper response to the regime’s hijack of the Ryanair plane and what the EU’s response should be.
Together with German politicians, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya discussed the need for an urgent package of sanctions against those involved in the hijacking of the plane, businessmen associated with Lukashenka, judges, and those involved in the falsification of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus. The fourth package of sanctions has already been completed and will be published in the coming weeks, and preparations of the fifth package have begun today.
The Belarusian leader proposed to reform the assistance programs for Belarusians and civil society, in particular, to make the assistance programs for persecuted students more effective and to give them the possibility of distance education at German universities. It also included support programs for doctors, workers, independent media, including a special program for media projects on platforms such as Youtube and Telegram.
In Berlin, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya reported that an investigation had been launched into a complaint by German lawyers about the crimes of the Lukashenka regime. Germany supports the launching of an international tribunal, which should begin with investigations and evidence collection.
With representatives of the Federal Foreign Office, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya discussed:
– simplification of visa procedures, especially for those Belarusians who have to leave the country urgently;
– assistance to the families of the persecuted, including temporary rehabilitation programs in Germany when the borders are open.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was assured that Chancellor Merkel plans to raise the issue of Belarus at the G7 and NATO summits, at Biden’s meeting with Putin. As a matter of principle, Belarus is at the top of the international agenda for Germany and the EU. At the moment, it is most important to give maximum support to the Belarusian people and to isolate the Lukashenka regime.
Angela Merkel was one of the first world leaders I met. Since September, Germany has taken a tough stance on the regime as a matter of principle. What is important is that the assistance provided by Germany actually helps the Belarusians so that the Belarusians feel it and know about it. The Belarusian question does not divide German politicians along party lines – we are fully supported in the government and among the opposition. We have full consensus that the new presidential election this year is the solution to the crisis. I came to Berlin to talk about concrete projects of assistance to Belarusians and also to insist on urgent sanctions against the regime”, – noted Ms. Tsikhanouskaya.
In the evening, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will join the premiere of the film Aliaksai Paluyan "Courage" in Berlin. Leader of democratic Belarus decided not to attend the Berlinale Red Carpet.