Sunday, November 28

Merkel and Kihanouska discuss the migration crisis on the border between Belarus and the EU – nach Welt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a phone conversation with the Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlan Cihanouska on Monday to talk about the domestic political situation in Belarus and the migration crisis on the border between Belarus and the European Union (EU), said German government spokesman Steff Zeibert.

The Chancellor emphasized that Germany would continue to support the democratic forces in Belarus. The Belarusian authorities must “end the repression against the opposition and independent journalists, release the prisoners and start a serious dialogue with the public” in order to overcome the crisis with fair and free elections, said Merkel.

On Monday, Zihanouska lamented Merkel’s recent telephone conversations with the Belarusian authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko and said that the dictator cannot be legitimized through diplomatic dialogue, even if the talks were limited to the current migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

“It looked very strange from the point of view of the Belarusian people,” Cihanouska said in Vienna after attending a conference on Belarusian civil society.

In a telephone conversation with Merkel, Cihanouska said she understood the “humanitarian goals” of the Chancellor’s talks with Lukashenko.

“The regime has held hostages for the life and health of migrants on the Belarusian border with the EU and Belarusian citizens,” Cihanouska said in a statement on her website.

As part of a widespread hybrid attack on the Lukashenko regime, efforts have been made in recent months to send thousands of illegal immigrants from Belarus to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, most of whom have arrived in Belarus as tourists from Iraq.

The EU has accused the Minsk regime of seeking revenge for the Belarusian opposition and imposing sanctions on Belarus in response to the violent crackdown on protests last year.

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