Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs:
“The PACE Commission on Political Affairs and Democracy discussed today the situation in Belarus with the participation of the former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and the head of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Savinykh. Tikhanovskaya’s speech was tough with the expected set of theses and calls for pressure on the Belarusian authorities. At the same time, she referred to the position and support of millions of citizens of Belarus.
It is not clear what millions Tikhanovskaya spoke about, if about 10% of the population, or about 521 thousand people, voted for her candidacy. However, this did not bother the representatives of the Baltic states and a number of other European states, who repeated the mantras about the falsification of the results of the Belarusian elections, although there was not a single observer from the assembly in the republic.
The discussion was quite politicized, with elements of direct interference in the affairs of Belarus. How else to assess the calls of our PACE colleagues for new elections and their recipes for changing national legislation? Only the accusations of interference were directly voiced paradoxically against Russia. I had to explain that the Russian side does not encroach on the sovereignty of Belarus, but is ready to render assistance to Minsk based on direct obligations within the framework of the Union State.
Once again, we drew attention to the need to stop the use of double standards in relation to Minsk. We hope that the cooperation of the National Assembly of Belarus with PACE will help to understand the truth of the situation, which is very far from the one described by Mrs. Tihanovskaya. “