Have the “emotions settled”, Mr Putin?
28.04.2006 Russias President Putin today expressed the hope that now that the presidential elections in Belarus are over, “emotions will settle and constructive work will begin towards developing the state”. “It is very good to see you after the conclusion of the election battle in Belarus,” Putin told Lukashenka during their meeting in St. Petersburg.
“I hope after all the emotions have settled that all who took part in the campaign will concentrate on developing the state, on positive work in this direction,” He added: “I am sure that all the plans we developed earlier for building ties of cooperation will become real”.
Putin asked Lukashenko whether it would be possible “to unite political forces around the key problems of the country”, to which Lukashenka responded that in Belarus “theres no such problem”.
We would remind readers that several leaders of the opposition have been arrested for their participation in the peaceful opposition rally “Chernobyl Path” on 26 April in Minsk. They include the leader of the Belarusian opposition Aleksandr Milinkevich, the leaders of the democratic parties Sergei Kalyakin, Vintsuk Vyachorka and Aleksandr Bukhvostov, as well as the leader of “Molodoy front” [“Youth front”], Dmytry Dashkevich. On 26 April KGB officers abducted and beat up the leader of the United Civic Party Anatoly Lebedko. The former presidential candidate Aleksandr Kozulin has now been held in a pre-trial detention unit for a month. On 4 May 4 the trials are due to take place of Mikita Sasim and Artur Finkevich.
The list of political prisoners is being added to all the time, and already holds several dozen names.
So have all the emotions really settled, Mr Putin?