Belarus Agenda 2020 – from politics to geopolitics
On behalf of the Civil Society Forum, Irina Sukhy (chairperson of “Ecohome”, Belarus) gave record of the dangers that Ostravets Nuclear Power Plant poses for Belarus and its European neighbours, during the discussion event “Belarus Agenda 2020” held in the European Parliament.
Irina Sukhy presented sound evidence on how the unsafe state of Ostravets Nuclear Power Plant blends into the overall strategy of the Belarusian authorities to undermine citizens’ protests against the regime. In Belarus, civil society has been taking to the streets since late 2019 in order to demonstrate against their government. Aleksandr Lukashenko is leading negotiations with Russia to deepen Belarus’ integration into the Russian Federation. Many of those who protested were detained, fined with substantial amounts and arrested for a number of days. The EU should be raising the issue with the Belarusian authorities. EaP CSF launched the event “Belarus Agenda 2020” as a clear sign for all interested stakeholders to support Belarusian civil society. The event was organised in close collaboration with MEP Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe group) and his team.
EaP CSF and its member organisations have been monitoring apprehensively the ongoing integration negotiations of Belarus and the Russian Federation. In a recent joint statement of the Belarusian National Platform of the EaP CSF and the Russian Civil Society Forum, the two parties have expressed their deep concerns about the negotiations: Civil society in Belarus lacks access to the discussions, led behind closed doors. This intransparency inhibits civil control to the content and developments of documents on further integraration of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation. Furthermore, a stark inequality characterises the two negotiating parties, as Belarus depends on Russia in economic regards.