NEW YORK, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ales Mikhalevich, Belarusian politician and 2010 presidential candidate, forced into exile by the Lukashenko regime, in his interview to New York radio 87.7FM, said that Belarus is likely to follow Libyan or Romanian path and see that power is taken from President Alexander Lukashenko, possibly by his own entourage: "I think that Lukashenko made so many enemies, even among his loyal oligarchs, that at some point they will come together and throw him out," said Mikhalevich.
Mikhalevich's interview which aired in March was organized by a US-based non-for-profit organization 'Belarusians in Exile' that aims to bring attention of the US and the EU media and general public to the human rights crisis in Belarus. The organization called on the US Congress and the EU Parliament to act and expand sanctions against the Lukashenko regime: "The dictator gets most of his financing, ironically, from the EU where he sells oil and potash. EU citizens are indirectly financing oppression of human rights across the border. We hope the EU will stop that," says Ilya Lushikov, BIE spokesman.
Ales Mikhalevich, who is still on most wanted list in Belarus and who currently resides in Prague, says that his organization, Association for Modernization, works with the EU government and supports sanctions against the regime: "Economic sanctions are the most effective measures against the regime because Lukashenko is concerned about them the most. It's quite easy to avoid specific sanctions against specific companies by simply registering new companies, but it's much better to have sanctions in place. Also, there could be sanctions against major state companies that sell natural products to the EU".
Mikhalevich believes that it's important for all EU countries to take a stand against Belarus: "Some of the smaller EU countries, like Latvia and Lithuania, are actually dependent on Belarusian oil and chemical products. So they are naturally against banning trade with Lukashenko. However, it's important for Europe to act jointly and effectively to "stop the Belarusian disease from spreading around the world".
In 2011, Ales Mikhalevich received the Rights & Democracy John Humphrey Freedom Award from Canadian International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. He serves as an expert on Belarus for the EU governmental and not-for-profit organizations. His full interview with Belarusians in Exile is available from BiE website, www.belarusiansinexile.org.
SOURCE Belarusians in Exile