Tsikhanouskaya, who is in Washington to meet with senior government officials, told reporters on Tuesday that she has provided a list of companies monopolized by the regime of Belarusian strongman President Alexander Luakshenko “and his cronies,” including Belarusian potassium potassium. and oil, timber and steel companies.
On Tuesday, she met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and congressional lawmakers, and she was set to meet with US Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Samantha Power and acting CEO of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Kelu Chao. Tsikhanouskaya said she planned to discuss “possible international efforts to isolate the regime politically and economically to make (Lukashenko) toxic and precious, including to Russia,” through both tangible and symbolic isolation.
However, she later noted that she didn’t want to talk too much about Russia “because our struggle is not between East and West, but between past and future.”
“Our struggle is in Belarus, and we are fighting for common values, for human rights, for the rule of law, for democratic change, and this is very understandable for the US. As for Russia, you know, if Russia wants to play a constructive role role to get out of the Belarusian crisis, they just have to stop supporting Lukashenko,” she added, asking the US government to send the message that if actors do not want to help fight for democracy in Belarus Russia, she shouldn’t interfere either.
Tsikhanouskaya said she discussed sanctions and support for civil society during her meeting with State Secretary Antony Blinken, State Secretary for Political Affairs Toria Nuland and other senior foreign ministry officials on Monday. She noted that many Belarusian people had to flee the country, many lost their jobs, businesses were closed and the mass media was destroyed by Lukashenko’s regime.
“All these people continue to fight, but they need help. And we need to find ways to first of all take care of those who are on the ground, political prisoners, their relatives, activists on the ground, to provide volunteers with the equipment to print newspapers, to provide people with lawyers, to help pay people’s fees so that the regime (not) put their children in orphanages and (not) confiscate property,” she said. “Of course it’s important to support journalists and mass media, through traditional and (emerging media) like YouTube channels, Telegram channels, because we need to inform the world.”
Tsikhanouskaya said that at the meeting they also talked about ‘justice’, ‘because it is necessary to avoid impunity’.
“We have been collecting evidence of all crimes since August 9. We are collecting them in one place and the European Union has launched an international accountability platform,” she said, pointing out that they hoped to bring to justice the perpetrators of the violent repression in Belarus. bring. once changes have been made to the former Soviet state.
When asked by CNN whether she believes Lukashenko should stand trial before an international body like the International Criminal Court, Tsikhanouskaya said it is “clear that Lukashenko is a criminal”, but that “it is very difficult to bring him before the International Court of Justice.” because he is actually protected by immunity.”
“And now many international lawyers are looking for loopholes… because he is not recognized by most countries, you know, how can he be waived of this immunity under the constitution and an investigation can be launched against him” , she said.
Tsikhanouskaya, a former teacher whose husband was imprisoned by Lukashenko’s regime, described her own plight and said that although she lives in Lithuania, she still lives in fear every day. She also rejected the title of “opposition leader” and said she “doesn’t lead the opposition movement because we are the majority.”
“It is the people themselves who are fighting. Even if Tsikhanouskaya disappears one day for I don’t know what reasons, this uprising, this movement will continue,” she said. “We’re not fighting for a leader, we’re fighting the dictatorship.”