Angela Merkel and François Hollande should demand the release of presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich. Andrei Sannikau, the leader of the civil campaign European Belarus, the presidential candidate in 2010, and former political prisoner, said it in his interview to charter97.org, commenting on the talks of the EU leaders on Ukraine in Minsk.
– Perhaps, ordinary people have only one wish: to cease that bloodshed in Ukraine, therefore, one should welcome any efforts aimed to achieve it. However, everything that has been done recently by the European leaders German Chancellor Merkel and the President of France Holland is of critical concern. Minsk as a place to held Norman format talks already means the defeat of Europe and Ukraine.
Minsk was not accidentally chosen as the negotiation arena, because it is the place where Putin promote his plan for division of Ukraine and recognition of terrorists. This plan turns to be quite real, because the largest European states are being involved in it.
There is a definition in politics like “incidental damage”. In our case, the incidental damage is a glaring fact of major international negotiations on the territory of the last dictatorship of Europe. Belarusian political prisoners are the incidental damage, who have been forgotten as if they are insignificant, and accepted the requirement of Putin-Lukashenka to hold talks in Minsk.
German Chancellor and the French President, if they come to Minsk, must demand the release of all political prisoners, otherwise they will lose face, at least in the eyes of Belarusians. In principle, Angela Merkel should demand the release of presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, even before her arrival in Minsk. It is not too late to do so. One cannot fight one dictator, resorting to services of the other one. You cannot save Ukrainians, betraying Belarusians.