Statement by Pavel Latushka at the press conference of Democratic Forces on the announced "referendum"
The National Anti-Crisis Management supports the common position of the democratic forces concerning the so-called "referendum" on changing the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus announced by the illegitimate authorities. At the same time, we consider it of fundamental importance to develop a strategy of actions not only in relation to the "referendum" itself, but a united strategy that will create an opportunity for a radical change of the situation in our country and ensure the fulfillment of the demands of the Belarusian society: the end of repressions, the release of political prisoners and the holding of new free elections.
The National Anti-Crisis Management believes it is crucial to state the following:
1. Regarding the democratic forces' common position on the so-called "referendum": we support the common position to invalidate the "referendum" through citizens' action.
2. Regarding the assessment of the so-called "referendum" by international partners: to seek an official statement from international partners on the non-recognition of Lukashenka’s right to hold a "referendum". This will deprive the "referendum" of any political and legal significance and will nullify the regime’s plans to restore its lost legitimacy.
To ask international partners to declare that if the repression of the Belarusans who do not support the imitation "referendum" continues, further consolidated sanctions of the European Union, the US, the UK and other democratic countries will be applied against the Lukashenka regime.
We expect that international partners would support the demands of the Belarusian people that the only sustainable way out of the crisis in Belarus is the release of political prisoners and the holding of new early presidential elections.
3. Regarding the presence of the Russian troops on the territory of Belarus. The National Anti-Crisis Management considers the presence of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, which has been agreed by the illegitimate authorities in Belarus, a violation of international law. In the current situation the presence of the Russian troops poses a threat of military conflict with the neighbours of Belarus, as well as a threat of loss of sovereignty of Belarus.
Based on the above, we believe that the united position of the democracies should be supplemented by the following strategy of our actions
- Using the "referendum" for a peaceful change of power in Belarus and meeting the demands of the Belarusian people: the release of political prisoners and the holding of new democratic presidential elections in Belarus.
- We should be ready to oppose the interference of foreign troops in the internal affairs of Belarus and the use of Belarus as a springboard for an attack on neighbouring countries.
We appeal to our international partners: all norms of national and international law should be used to bring Lukashenka to criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity: torture, repression, murder, for hijacking the plane and hybrid war with the EU countries. We welcome the US decision to indict representatives of the regime for the hijacking of the plane.
The NAM believes that the key political and legal issue for the international community is the non-recognition of Lukashenka as president of Belarus. We look forward to an appropriate decision at the level of national governments of democratic countries. This legal decision would allow Lukashenka’s actions to be considered as violating international law.
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