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Digest: November 29 - December 12

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Expansion of sanctions against the regime, work with international partners and democratic forces, "memo" for free Belarusians

Western countries have introduced new sanctions against the Belarusian dictatorship. The NAM participants held a number of high-level meetings and spoke at several international events. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher visited the NAM office. A brief overview of our work — in cards.

And the traditional list of activities for advocates of change:
  • tell your relatives about the plan for the "referendum": come to the polling stations and put crosses in the ballot paper in front of all the options;
  • if you are invited to the election commission — agree and inform about it *Honest people;
  • share information about the NAM with your friends and offer to subscribe to our channels (which are NOT prohibited in Belarus);
  • withdraw money from cards and take deposits from banks, convert rubles into currency, do not buy excisable and expensive goods;
  • observe anti-pandemic rules.

External economic pressure

On December 2, the EU, US, UK and Canada introduced new sanctions against the Lukashenka’s regime and synchronized both new and previously imposed restrictions.

On the same day, Australia passed the Thematic Sanctions Act and joined the Global Magnitsky Act. Now it can impose its own sanctions against subjects violating human rights and the principles of legality, including Belarus. Japan and Taiwan are also preparing to join the Act. The NAM and the Belarusian diaspora on the Green Continent have already established a working group to prepare sanctions lists, evidence base and policy briefs for the Australian authorities to help pressure the regime under the new law.

On this regular "Day of Sanctions" for Lukashenka, the management team met with the US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher at the NAM office. Ms Fischer assured that the US policy towards the dictator will remain tough, including through economic pressure.

And these words are confirmed by deeds. The US not only synchronized the new measures with the EU and the UK, but for the first time in practice applied sectoral sanctions against the regime in the financial sector — namely, imposed sanctions on sovereign debt. The Ministry of Finance of Belarus and the Development Bank were included in the sectoral sanctions list. The move marked the transition from Joe Biden’s executive order, which paved the way for sectoral sanctions, to real action.

The future of the Eastern Partnership in the EU

Head of the NAM Pavel Latushka spoke at the conference "The Future of the Eastern Partnership in the EU", where he called on the leaders of the EU countries to show political will and unite efforts to:
  • international non-recognition of the dictator, his government and the future "referendum";
  • recognition of Lukashenka and his accomplices as international terrorists;
  • recognition of those involved in violence against civilians guilty of crimes against humanity;
  • the most effective sanctions pressure on the regime.
The event was also attended by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Deputy Director General and other officials of the European Commission, Foreign Ministers of Estonia and Moldova, employees of the European External Action Service and a number of think tanks. Official Belarus was represented at the conference with an empty seat.

Meeting with the President of the OSCE PA

The NAM was officially presented for the first time by the People’s Embassy of Belarus at a high-level international event. Dmitry Wasserman, a member of the People’s Embassy in Sweden, took part in the meeting with the Chairperson of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Margareta Sederfelt in Stockholm on behalf of the NAM.

Dmitry conveyed to Ms. Sederfelt the NAM’s proposals on resolving the regional crisis caused by Lukashenka, and also held talks with the head of the French delegation to the OSCE PA Siren Mauborn, a member of the Swedish delegation to the OSCE Björn Söder and Vice-President of the OSCE PA Pia Kauma.

Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

And one more international meeting of the last days: Pavel Latushka and the NAM lawyer Artsiom Praskalovich talked with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgar Rinkevich at the initiative of the Latvian side. The migration crisis created by the Lukashenka regime and the future "referendum" were the central agenda here as well.

Representatives of the NAM shared with Mr. Rinkevich proposals for a collective EU strategy to counter the hybrid attack from the Belarusian dictatorship and the plans of the Democratic Forces for the planned plebiscite on the Constitution. The minister, in turn, stated the firm and unified position of the EU member states on the situation in Belarus, the impossibility of dialogue with Lukashenka and the importance of initiating criminal prosecution of the dictator and his accomplices within the framework of international law.

Visit of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has become one of the guests of the NAM office for the last two weeks. Our team discussed with the leader of the Belarusian democratic majority the strategy for the "referendum" and actions after the protest vote on it, as well as legal pressure on the dictatorship: non-recognition of Lukashenka and his government at the international level and the simultaneous recognition of the regime as terrorist.

The NAM reminds all like-minded people of its firm position: now is the time to act. Together. Decisively. Until the victory. The non-standard situation in Belarus requires from all of us and our friendly forces non-standard solutions, consolidation and will, primarily political. And we — both Belarusians and the entire world community — have no right to ignore this demand.

Local Government Congress

The NAM participants — Mikhail Kirilyuk, Valery Matskevich, Natalia Zadekovskaya and Yuri Gubarevich — attended the 6th European Congress of Local Self-Government Bodies in Mikolajki (Poland), where they discussed with experts:
  • the state and reform of local authorities in Belarus;
  • regional development;
  • promising directions for work in the area of self-government after the arrival of a new, democratic government;
  • opposition to Lukashenka’s plans to finally centralize power through the adoption of a new Constitution in a "referendum".
At the European Congress, heads of local authorities, regional elite, representatives of state administrations, NGOs and businesses exchange views on the structure of local self-government and its interaction with society. This time the event attracted more than 800 people.

Time to act together!

The victory over the dictatorship is the business of each of us. We are offering to you:
  • to inform friends, relatives, colleagues of the Democratic Forces' position on the "referendum": we will make the illegitimate plebiscite invalid — we will come to the polling stations and put crosses in front of all the options in the ballot;
  • if you are invited to the election commission for a "referendum" - agree and notify the community *Honest people to resist the system from within;
  • tell your friends about the activities and social networks of the NAM: our channels are NOT recognized as extremist in Belarus (and elsewhere), and your information support will be very useful to us;
  • cash out money from cards, withdraw deposits from banks, purchase currency with all available funds and say "no" to excisable goods and expensive purchases;
  • protect yourself and others from COVID-19, including wearing masks.

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