Belarusian Organization Calling on Germany to Expand Sanctions Against Belarus. With a Kiss.

Aug 12, 2013, 08:46 ET from Belarusians in Exile

BERLIN, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The famous Berlin Wall mural depicting Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev passionately kissing Eastern German General Secretary Erich Honecker should be replaced with Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko kissing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to the new cartoon released by Belarusians in Exile, a nonprofit organization founded by Belarusians forced to leave their country because of human rights violations.

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The human rights organization is urging Germany and other EU countries to ban trading with the dictatorial regime of Alexander Lukashenko and expand targeted sanctions against state-owned companies that help finance the regime.

Germany is one of Belarusian largest trading partners, with foreign trade between two countries reaching $4.47 billion in 2012. The trade is growing annually despite some sanctions against Belarus already in place.

"Germany is trading with the dictatorship" – says Ilya Lushnikov, Belarusians in Exile spokesperson – "with this cartoon we are trying to bring attention to this fact and to urge German citizens to pose questions to the lawmakers and the government: 'Why do we support the regime with our money?'"

"We have called on the German foreign minister and the EU council urging them to expand sanctions and hope that the EU will help Belarus to stop political repression, and to provide a normal life for the citizens of our country," adds Lushnikov.

With this and other specially commissioned cartoons, 'Belarusians in Exile' hopes to prompt the international community to step up sanctions against Belarus, which still receives vast infusions of cash from West European companies despite legislation by the EU to restrict business that benefits the Lukashenko regime. The cartoons are released under Creative Commons and are free to use for the media and bloggers alike.

Ilya Lushnikov
Belarusians in Exile
+1 (646) 583-2525


SOURCE Belarusians in Exile