The Belarusian opposition politician Kolesnikova has disappeared, she has probably been arrested. In Germany, politicians are shocked – and are calling for repercussions for Belarus.
After the disappearance of the opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova, German foreign politicians sharply criticized the government of Belarus. “This is an unparalleled defamation comedy,” said Jürgen Trittin, green foreign policy official against Chillreport. Trittin and SPD spokesman Nils Schmid demanded their immediate release.
Belarusian border guards claim they arrested Kolesnikova when she reportedly wanted to leave for Ukraine. However, this contradicts the representation of the opposition and various media. Accordingly, Kolesnikowa is said to have been kidnapped in Minsk. She tore her passport to avoid her deportation to Ukraine, the Interfax office reported, citing the Ukrainian government. The whereabouts of Kolesnikova are currently unclear.
The fact that Kolesnikova avoided deportation “by apparently tearing up her passport was a brave decision,” said Trittin. “Your message to Lukashenko is very clear that she will not leave the country to him.” The green politician demanded, “Maria Kolesnikowa must be released immediately.”
SPD foreign politician Nils Schmid also told Chillreport: “Ms Kolesnikowa is clearly being held against her will. She should be released immediately – just like the other political prisoners.”
Schmid demanded that the EU put pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko. “Lukashenko is personally politically responsible for the welfare and freedom of movement of Ms. Kolesnikova,” said Schmid. “The EU should hold him personally liable if his detention continues.” Schmid had the latter presented in a guest post for Chillreporthow he believes the EU should best respond to the mass protests in Belarus.
The green politician Trittin also spoke out for economic consequences. “The EU must now make it clear that the requests for support are followed by action,” he said. “It cannot be that Belarusian state-owned companies, in which strikes have been prevented, continue to happily do business with European states. The EU must end this.”