Belarusian Foreign Minister Doubts Opposition To Get $4Bln From EU

MINSK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th September, 2020) Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei doubted on Friday that the opposition would receive a desired package of financial assistance from the European Union.

Earlier in the week, Pavel Latushko, a senior member of the Belarusian opposition's coordination council, said that they expect to receive up to $4 billion from the EU if Belarus takes the "path of democracy."

"You can see what promises are offered to the Belarusian society during such manipulations. They say that Poland is already creating a $1 billion fund to support Belarus and initiates the creation of a $4 billion fund if opponents of the current government come to power in Belarus," Makei told reporters at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to the minister, Belarus went through something like that in 2010, when "two well-known ministers [then-foreign ministers Guido Westerwelle of Germany and Radoslaw Sikorski of Poland] put $3 billion on the table of President Lukashenko in exchange for us following the path of 'true democracy' in their understanding of the word."

"Belarus has not received any $3 billion. I am convinced that no one will ever see these $4 billion. But there are tempting promises," he went on.

The top diplomat pointed to a "paradox" of the EU supporting Belarus' sovereignty and independence in words and undermining this sovereignty and independence in deeds.

"I am convinced that if the situation continues to develop in this way, and, apparently, this is what is going on, we can be unequivocally certain that there will be no good from such statements, from such concrete offers of material support for opponents of the government," the minister said.

Makei lamented that the Belarusian authorities hear only criticism from EU countries, which "do not even bother trying to understand the real state of affairs and objectively assess the situation."

The Belarusian opposition initiated mass nationwide protests after President Alexander Lukashenko was reelected for a sixth term on August 9. The opposition has since established the coordination council to carry out a peaceful transition of power. The Belarusian authorities say that the council pursues an unconstitutional grab of power.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has since said that the bloc no longer sees Lukashenko as legitimate president. The European Parliament, in turn, recognized the coordination council as "an interim representation of the people demanding democratic change in Belarus."