[Tekst w języku polskim i rosyjskim zamieszczony był w poprzednim numerze "Kontratekstów"]
The two-faced line of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) towards civil society and political opposition on Belorussia
At the end of 2006, a "moment of truth" visited our country. Roundworm and intestines parted at last. They decided to clear up a dispute between them. Such (in my opinion quite fitting) picture of desired by Lukashenko model of Belorussia - Russia relations was recently proposed by Moscow publicist Julia Latynina. Roundworm is absolutely dependant on the food provided by intestines; at the same time its body movements do not depend on it at all. Can one combat an intestines parasite without at least silent approval of its host, on which it parasites? Even an enema is effective only when two sides of the proceedings do not disturb each other.   

But then, predicting history rarely happens to be clear or understandable when it takes place. The motives of the geo-political games could be absolutely egoistic, but its effects often positively direct the process of social evolution.

The thread of switching to market relations with Russia was received by Lukashenko as a thread to Belorussia´s independence. The Belorussian opposition obediently followed this irrational idea. It turned out that all was forgotten about political murders, gross election forgeries, about an anti-constitutional upheaval, about beating of some of Parliament members in accordance with law. Here we have, the "God save and protect us from Moscow enemies!" To local nationalists "Pharaoh type sovereignty" is much more attractive than an open, honest and clear fight for independence. A strong nation, ready to live on its own does not need such opposition - it is ready to pay for its national independence. While these (oppositionists) got scared of their own radicalism and already in the evening of 19th of March 2006, not realising it for themselves, they turned into a small cog in the machine of the feather figure regime - in likelihood of good old Salvation Army feaster, which sometimes will voice its grudge on quality of food served to the servant of the noble house. As for the common table at the National Library, these political oldies are not invited to anymore.    

The purely egoistic motives of "Gasprom" (from the point of view of Belorussian official mass media) - meaning rational optimisation of international relations - will cause that Lukashenko´s regime will gradually have to stop prostituting itself in the name of brotherhood "federal state". Economic transparency will inevitably cause a revolution in governing of the national economy, from which is just a step away from real political reforms. Earlier on - during the era of cheap Russian gas - Lukashenko could allow himself to oppress the independent trade unions. Presently their leader, Alexander Yaroshuk, personally and for free made much more to tame the impudent State authority than all this power apparatus of "united democratic forces" and became the desired guest on all legal meetings of Belorussian quasi trade unionists. By now he is ready to dictate conditions on his own - if he will not be sacrificed also, by the political blind men of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. I will not be surprised, when in exchange for organising in Minsk of the seminar of Uta Zapf - Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly ad hoc Working Group on Belarus, the price would be freezing of European sanctions against Belorussian feudal economy. It all reminds the readiness of European politicos of the 30s in the 20th century to buy Russian wood, cut-down by slave-prisoners of Russian labour-camps. Many people in Europe have their sight and conscience obscured by advantageous dumping carried out on their markets by Belorussian companies. They do not wish to see shackles put on the most worthy representatives of the Belorussia nation. Earlier they were fashioned by Moscow (shackles), now- when Kremlin is not eager to pay for them anymore - the thriftiest Europeans decided to replace the Russian sponsors.  

Market relations between Russia and Belorussia is the only real thread to the dictator´s power. As we know, the Western democracy is based on the market and its relations. Free market exists in all civilized, developed countries; it is the basis for democracy and liberal values. And this is - when the good old father will no longer be able to pay to the Special Purpose Detachment of Militia (Russian special units of State police) any more than to any law-abiding German policeman - when the recovery of Belorussia will begin. This country should live by means of its own resources, especially when it comes to officials of governing bodies, relentless propagandists and pouched deputies. Then the question will appear whether it is worth it to defend the bankrupt regime. And what can the Bundestag deputy Uta Zapf and others offer? "Twelve conditions of EU to start dialogue with Belorussia" - a bluff. Even if all of them would have been fulfilled by Belorussia today, even if they would bring radical economic recovery, the country would not be accepted into the EU for some fifteen to twenty years. This is the educated opinion of all politician-experts. I repeat - in twenty years. Bulgaria and Romania were accepted so swiftly only because they supported the clean up NATO performed on Milosevic issue. And that was the last car of the train leaving for European Union. Democracy from the European point of view will not be exported to Belorussia. For they will not manage to - "twenty years".  This is the first issue. But there also is also the second one. Duplicity. What do all twelve points of the "endearing message" of Europe to the dictator mean in comparison to the one, the thirteenth message of Russia; to start honest, normal market relations? Nothing. Demagogy, support of the regime - this is what the European politics is today.   

The seminar, which took place in the pompous National Library building seemed like a hasty rehabilitation of the official Minsk: "The research of possibilities of Belorussia within the European politics of good neighbourhood". Zapt underlined: "I think that the seminar is necessary, as relations between countries and organisations cannot always be built instantly. It is necessary to move forward, step by step. Each country has its own timetable to make decisions on its problems, for example on its Election Code. I hope we will return to this problem later on."  

Therefore it seems quite acceptable, if the present (absolutely theatrical) Election Code will function in Belorussia: "Even if the election legislation did not change, but was fully fulfilled, it would be a huge progress in the legislation system of Belorussia and could cause the election process to become more transparent and just. And result would be for better." Declared Uta Zapf.

But most interesting are the following words: "We are ready to cooperate, but under the condition of fulfilling all of abovementioned conditions by Belorussia. Most of all, we will demand freeing of political prisoners" Said Zapf. In 2007 the issue of "displaced politicians", on which the head of the OSCE AMG in Minsk, Dr. Hans-Georg Wieck worked, often very hard - was supplemented with new reality of "political prisoners". Zapf was appointed by someone, to fulfil "the role of Wieck": if freeing of political prisoners will go the way the responsibility of State authorities for the misplaced and killed opposition politicians went, this will be the prove of the two-faced policy of OSCE towards the civil society and political opposition on Belorussia.

By the way, no one bothers to hide it too well. Zapf said among others, that no one "expects Belorussia to fulfil all twelve conditions at once". What a thought. Let us concentrate then, with the "firemen of Homla issue" and "cops in Grodno" at the background, on the problem of the abolition of the death penalty. Zapf will be given the most fierce discussion on the most important issue; the former candidate to presidency Alexander Kazulin will be imprisoned; the President of the Belarusian National Front (BNF), Vintsuk Vyachorka will continue to be arrested for swearing in front of his own daughter and oppositionist Vyacheslav Sivchik will persistently pee on the main street, right under the nose of the militia patrol and will keep receiving 24 hours of arrest. Perhaps Zapf, for "transparency of the experiment", should take a walk through "evening Minsk" with the „white-red-white" tag on her chest. It would surely come out that she can fluently swear in Russian, almost as well as a recently sentenced, opposition oriented deaf-mute Belorussian.

Zapf was openly taunting the local opposition: according to her words "Belorussian deputies said that they have met some of opposition representatives face to face for the first time during the seminar, and were surprised they did not look like devils".

The deputies - nominated, as a group, not for the first time - can say anything. Though Zapf was right on one thing: it is only devils who are able, even on this political pan, to clarify their relations between themselves, instead of with the host of the hell. Thanks to advocates of compromise and to political prostitutes....

Rightly so, both Mikhail Marynich, former Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs (MVES) and Anatoly Shumenko, leader of republican public association of companies "Perspective", did not accept the proposal to attend the "Zapf seminar".

Marynich said that it was amoral and thoughtless to hold such meetings, while arrests of oppositionists were still continued and no invited representative of the democratic block was included to make a speech, though State authority representatives were obligatorily given the floor.  

Generally speaking it is good the opposition did not succumb to the obvious provocation of State authorities and was not tempted to boycott the seminar. The non governmental leaders: Tatiana Protko, Vladimir Kolos and Zhanna Litvina have played the role of a known politician who once declared aloud "There is such a party!" (*). We have heard again "There is no democracy here!" from the opposition politicians. I hope that Uta Zapf has heard it too.

I will add on my own: There is no democracy here. And never will be, if Europe will again promote the Munich-like model of agreement with Fuehrer. Therefore, God save us from such "friends". Because from enemies of freedom we will save ourselves - just stop to support them financially and politically. At least do not prevent Russian imperialists from convincing Lukashenko that effective economy does not go hand in hand with dictatorship of unqualified kolkhoz (collective farm) overseers. To save the economy, the moment will come when the whole system will have to be destroyed.

(*) It is what Lenin cried out during one Duma (Russian equivalent of the lower house of Parliament) sitting, during the 1905 Revolution, when one of speakers declared that there is no party able to assume power in Russia

Sergey Skrebiec - former deputy to Belorussian Parliament

In 2000-2004 Skrebiec was a deputy of the House of Representatives. He has won his the Parliament seat in Lida. In 2001 he tried to run in presidential elections, but he did not manage to collect enough signatures. He reverted to opposition and was one of leaders of the Belorussian parliamentary opposition group Respublica. He has undertaken a number of initiatives, causing fury of State authorities. Among others, he demanded instituting penal proceedings on disappearance of opposition leaders. In 2004, together with a few other deputies he demanded to introduce changes in the Election Code, which would allow normal control over elections.

In 2005 he was sentenced to two and a half years of prison for alleged obtaining of credit and for actions leading to offer bribes. During the trial he was held in the arrest. Three times he went on hunger strike. Authorities did not make any allowances. During the trial before the Supreme Court he did not confess himself guilty and called the trial a farce. 

Source: „Magazyn Polski na Uchodźstwie", No.3. March 2006

Sergey Skrebiec

Tłumaczyła Agata Markiewicz