Democratic forces consolidate political exiles; Tsikhanouskaya’s office fights Lithuanian restrictions on Belarusians
Democrats continue consultations with Lithuanian authorities to avert the introduction of restrictions against ordinary Belarusians and continue to put pressure on Western capitals to isolate and introduce additional sanctions against the Lukashenka regime. Efforts continue to create platforms for the support of Belarusian exiles and Belarusian businesses abroad.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office will be striving to overcome the veto of Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and influence the adoption of a bill on restrictions for Belarusians and Russians in a more lenient version for Belarusians.
Representatives of the United Transitional Cabinet continue to strengthen cooperation with Western capitals, holding meetings with Polish and Latvian officials, resulting in the Latvian Saeima declaring readiness to resume active collaboration with the democrats.
The National Anti-Crisis Management (NAM) led by ex-minister of culture Pavel Latushka collects evidence for the International Criminal Court in The Hague of the involvement of the Belarusian regime in illegally removing children from occupied territories of Ukraine. The NAM initiates a public campaign to pressure the EU to introduce additional sanctions against the Lukashenka regime with no exceptions.
The Coordination Council continues its efforts to increase its influence in the democratic movement as a broadly representative platform. The Council negotiated with other democratic political organisations and announced further expansion with delegates from other public and political entities.
Lawyers in exile unite via the Belarusian Independent Association of Human Rights Lawyers.
The Association of Belarusian Business Abroad held a conference in Poland and is organising the second Belarusian Business Forum, “Belarus Business Harbor in the Baltics 2023,” in Vilnius on April 26th. A representative of the Association, Aleś Alachnovich, took part in the “spring meetings” of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington as Tsikhanouskaya’s adviser on economic reforms.
The influence of democrats and independent media on public opinion in Belarus is decreasing. According to a recent Chatham House report, support for nuclear weapons in Belarus increased from 20% in March 2022 to 25% in March 2023.
Protest activity in Belarus continues to decline due to repression and emigration of activists.
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Situation in Belarus