Address by Pavel Latushka at the Kalinowski Conference in the European Parliament
Brussels, 21 June 2022
Dear Madam Chairman,
Dear MEPs, colleagues,
Evil must not have spheres of influence. And no country in the world must be a sphere of evil’s influence.
These days, a decision will be taken on whether to grant European Union candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
All three countries, to varying degrees, were previously mistakenly considered to be Russia’s sphere of influence. And all of them are victims of its aggressive neo-imperial policy. They have all paid too much for this erroneous judgment of the civilized world. Right now an unimaginable price is being paid again by Ukraine.
But independent, freedom-loving peoples and countries cannot and must not be considered a sphere of influence of the absolute evil called the "Russian world". And right now Europe has a historic chance to prove it.
To demonstrate in practice that all countries striving to break out of the "Russian world" will get all the support they need from the civilized world.
Today, I want to remind you that in Europe there is another one country that is striving for the same. This country is Belarus.
And here is our message to United Europe:
WE ARE NOT THE "RUSSIAN WORLD" OR RUSSIA’S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE.
We are European people under Russian occupation and the dictatorship of Putin’s puppet Lukashenko.
And this is also the result of our common mistakes, which we must work on. And make our valuable and principled choice — both for you and for us, Belarusians.
The choice which the war has put us before: between good and evil. Without half-tones.
And we, the people of Belarus, choose the good.
All the latest polls also show this:
- Most Belarusians are against the war.
- Most Belarusians are for the European choice, not for the "Russian world".
This means that we have realized our misconceptions when we thought we could not escape from Russia because of our geopolitical position.
We have realized that it is not the proximity to Russia that should define our civilizational choice. It is not what determines our values, it is not what determines our vision of the future of Belarus — as an independent, free, democratic and developed state.
But unfortunately, it is the geographic proximity to Russia that poses a threat to the future of Belarus. And this threat becomes even stronger, the stronger is the conviction of the rest of the world that Belarus is a sphere of Russian influence.
There is a well-known expression: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.".
And there is nothing more damaging to the inactivity of good people than the delusion that something is beyond their sphere of influence.
Today, with the terrible war in Ukraine, we all see the consequences. Namely the occupation of one European country — Belarus, and the war against another — Ukraine.
Back in 2020, when the Belarusians took to the streets en masse to protest against their stolen choice, Russia declared its readiness to provide military support to Lukashenko.
In 2022, Russian troops entered Belarus — under the pretense of an exercise. And they did not leave its territory at the end of it. Instead, they invaded Ukraine on February, 24. Thus, with the consent and full support of Lukashenko — Putin’s puppet — the occupation of Belarus and its transformation into a war co-aggressor took place.
By what right did Russia prepare to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus in 2020? And by what right has it decided that Belarus can be used as a springboard for a war in 2022?
By the same right it unleashed and is unleashing wars in every country it considers to be its sphere of influence with the tacit consent of the rest of the world.
Then is the world ready to continue to accept this? Is the world ready to continue thinking that Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova are Russia’s sphere of influence — and to let Russia think so itself?
3 out of the 4 countries listed have already declared that their choice is Europe and not Russia. They have made their civilisational choice.
It is time for Belarus to make that choice too. What do we need for that?
I am convinced that Belarus and Europe need to take three major steps towards each other.
The first step for Belarus — represented by democratic forces — is the establishment of a transitional government, announced back on February, 24 by Svetlana Tihanovskaya. The transitional government must become a real alternative to the illegal, illegitimate and puppet government of Lukashenko and defend the European choice of Belarus in the international arena.
Step two is to launch a national liberation movement to fight the Russian occupation and Lukashenko’s puppet regime and to liberate Belarus.
Step three — to make the European choice as a free, independent, democratic state.
But we need your support along this path. What steps are we waiting for from you?
Step one is the complete isolation of Lukashenko’s illegitimate puppet regime in the international arena through the expulsion of all its representatives from international organizations. And inviting representatives of Belarusian democratic forces in their place.
Step two is the legal recognition of Russian occupation of Belarus, the recognition of the transitional government and the national liberation movement of Belarus.
Step three is support for the European choice of independent Belarus after its liberation from occupation and the holding of new democratic elections.
We, Belarusians, came to this understanding back in 2020. And we are ready to move towards freedom and independence. Towards Free Europe.
So take steps towards us! Let us take the road towards light, common security and prosperity together.
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