Expert: Belarus in Need Of the Marshall Plan

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:32am EST

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NEW YORK,  Feb. 13, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Frustrated that after 19 years of 
rule by  Alexander Lukashenko,  Belarus  finally turned into a dictatorial
state, reminiscent of  Orwell's dystopia, influential Belarusian politicians
call on the EU to take real action against the Lukashenko regime.

In an interview with   New York  radio 87.7FM, Anatoly Lebedko, a prominent
Belarusian politician, head of the United Civil Party, said: "Belarus  has
already become a copy of the  Soviet Union. Lukashenko pulls it back into
feudalism." The opposition leader refers to the infamous decree #9, which
prohibits workers to switch or quit jobs, a measure dubbed as 'slavery', and to
the so-called 'law of organized  inaction', which prohibits belarusians to
gather in public places, even without any political agenda.

In his interview with the  New York  radio, organized by Belarusians in Exile, a
non-profit group that aims to bring attention to the human rights crisis in the 
Republic of Belarus, Mr Lebedko said: "Belarus  is in need of the Marshall Plan.
There must also be an immediate release of all political prisoners and new, free
elections."

Lebedko believes that this can be achieved only with strong support from the US
and the European Union, in particular, through economic sanctions: "Targeted
sanctions against specific government officials and companies linked to «the
family» are completely justified." (According to the Belarusian slang, "The
Family" is a group of state officials and businessmen closely connected to 
Alexander Lukashenko).

'Belarusians in Exile' and other pro-democracy organizations have appealed to
the European Union requesting to expand sanctions against companies and
individuals who support and finance the Lukashenko regime, such as exporters of
oil and potash that generate over 70 percent of hard currency for  Belarus.
According to the Belarusian organizations, sanctions must be in place until the
country holds the elections that are up to the OSCE standards.

If the elections are in fact free and unbiased, Lukashenko will not win,
according to Anatoly Lebedko: "Today, Lukashenko is not capable of winning any
elections in the country, neither presidential nor parliamentary."

Proposals on sanctions against the Lukashenko regime from Belarusians in Exile
and other prominent Belarusian groups are being reviewed by the EU.

BiE is a US-based non-profit organization aimed at supporting democratic
institutions in  Belarus.

Ilya Lushnikov
www.belorussians.org   
i.lushnikov@belorussians.org
+1 (646) 583-2525

SOURCE  Belarusians in Exile

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