The Belarusian opposition resident in exile, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, advised that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko would betray the chief of the Russian mercenary group “Wagner”, Yevgeny Prigozhin, regardless of his reception after the failed rebel.
“They aren’t allies. They can’t belief one another,” Tikhanovskaya informed AFP in an interview in Brussels on Wednesday.
“At any second Lukashenko might betray Prigozhin and Prigozhin might betray Lukashenko,” she added.
Lukashenko with Putin (archive)
Lukashenko stated on Tuesday that Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus beneath an settlement he had mediated to finish an armed rebel by the Wagner Group, posing the most important problem but to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tikhanovskaya, who introduced her victory over Lukashenko within the 2020 presidential elections, acknowledged that the settlement stays obscure in lots of respects.
However she in contrast Lukashenko’s transfer to assist his most outstanding supporter, Putin, to a wedding of comfort geared toward saving his regime in Belarus.
“He did not act to save lots of Putin face, save Prigozhin, or forestall a civil conflict in Russia,” she stated. “His concern was to save lots of himself as a result of Lukashenko is aware of that the authorities in Russia are dealing with difficulties, and Lukashenko will probably be subsequent,” she added.
The opposition chief, whose husband is imprisoned in Belarus, identified that Prigozhin’s transfer along with his Wagner fighters to Belarus would pose a menace to Europe.
“The presence of Prigozhin himself or the Wagner teams on our lands is a menace to the individuals of Belarus within the first place, and to our independence,” she stated. And she or he continued, “Her (Wagner’s) presence might signify a menace to Ukraine and our western neighbors.”
Tikhanovskaya denounced the portrayal of Lukashenko as a “peacemaker” after it appeared that he had helped resolve the disaster.
And she or he warned that he would possibly use Wagner’s forces to hold out a safety crackdown on the opposition after the tough marketing campaign that adopted the disputed 2020 elections. She stated, “He’s an individual who introduced rapists and murderers to our land… What’s going to they do in our nation? That is an important query. How will they act?”
Tikhanovskaya criticized the West’s “indifference” to the state of affairs in Belarus, in gentle of Moscow’s growing affect within the nation after the Kremlin supported Lukashenko.
She stated that the worldwide group’s failure to reply forcefully to Russia’s switch of nuclear weapons to Belarus is a thorn in Moscow and Minsk. And she or he continued, “We’re nonetheless ready for a response to the deployment of nuclear weapons on our lands.” “When the world stays silent about such an vital second, tyrants see this as weak spot,” she stated.
Greater than a yr has handed because the final sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Belarusian regime, following its function in serving to Moscow in the course of the conflict in Ukraine.
The bloc had beforehand imposed a sequence of repeated sanctions on Minsk for suppressing demonstrations. European Union international locations have been discussing new measures for months, however haven’t been capable of agree on them.
Tikhanovskaya acknowledged that Wagner’s arrival in Belarus could possibly be a brand new motive for taking further punitive measures in opposition to the regime. She stated, “Lukashenko is now receiving criminals… For instance, new sanctions may be imposed. Sanctions in opposition to those that allowed this.”