In Sofia, Belarusian opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya holds talks with Bulgarian leaders

Belarus is a sad example of how in a developed European country, with very good education, science, technology and a developed economy, democratic rules can be “broken” and the result can be the establishment of a dictatorship, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said on March 5 after talks in Sofia with visiting Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

He said that this example should be kept in mind, because there is no country that is immune from such a development.

“The only insurance is to observe the democratic rules, not to have people with unlimited power, because history shows that the temptation to go to a dictatorial regime is extremely great,” Denkov said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel said that Bulgaria categorically condemns the role of Minsk as an accomplice of Russia in the aggression against Ukraine

Gabriel said that it is important to distinguish between the Belarusian regime and the Belarusian people.

“We condemn the role of Minsk as an accomplice of Russia. We must be vigilant regarding the circumvention of sanctions. We stand behind European support to the Belarusian people. Bulgaria clearly and consistently supports these efforts,” Gabriel said.

Tsikhanouskaya thanked Bulgaria for its support on the way to the freedom of Belarus.

“There can be no peace and security in Belarus under the current conditions. We encourage the Bulgarian people to support the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

Earlier, Tsikhanouskaya held talks with National Assembly Speaker Rossen Zhelyazkov.

Zhelyazkov said: “We welcome the desire of Belarus to establish democracy and observe the main democratic principles in the country – the rule of law, holding free and fair elections, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, pluralism and freedom of speech”.

Tsikhanouskaya and Zhelyazkov

The National Assembly was ready to share its experience gained in the years after the democratic changes in Bulgaria, and to assist in the exchange of successful parliamentary practices, he said.

He told Tsikhanouskaya that Bulgaria supports the efforts of the opposition in Belarus to establish a democratic socio-political order in the country.

“We understand that Belarus is part of Europe and the aspiration of the Belarusian people is to share the democratic values and achievements of all European countries,” he added.

Tsikhanouskaya said that Bulgaria’s experience in the accession process and its positions in the EU would be extremely useful for Belarus.

“The Bulgarian and Belarusian peoples share a similar historical fate and our aspiration is to assist in the better knowledge and development of our relations. Thank you for your country’s support for EU initiatives aimed at supporting Belarusian civil society,” she told Zhelyazkov.

On March 5, Tsikhanouskaya was due to be given a hearing by Parliament’s committee on the European Union, the Schengen zone and the euro zone.

She also held talks with Deputy Justice Minister Emil Dechev.

In the morning, Tsikhanouskaya met Boiko Borissov, leader of the GERB-UDF coalition and head of Parliament’s committee on foreign affairs, who told her that his coalition would propose to the groups of the Euro-Atlantic majority in the National Assembly to create a parliamentary friendship group with Belarus.

Borissov told Tsikhanouskaya that Bulgaria fully supports all legitimate aspirations of the Belarusian people to build a democratic state based on the rule of law and fundamental human rights, to elect their representatives through genuine, democratic and transparent elections.

He said that Bulgaria was one of the countries that had helped Ukraine the most in real terms, with weaponry, combat equipment and funds.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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