German Lawmakers Call Berlin's Support For Belarusian Opposition Clear Meddling

German Lawmakers Call Berlin's Support for Belarusian Opposition Clear Meddling

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th February, 2021) German lawmakers from the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) and socialist Die Linke parties told Sputnik they condemned Berlin's financial support to the Belarusian opposition, which, some of them believe, represents clear meddling aimed at overthrowing President Alexander Lukashenko "under the guise of a commitment to democracy."

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday that Berlin had allocated 21 million Euros ($25.3 million) to implement the Action Plan Civil Society Belarus initiative aimed at providing support to the Belarusian opposition. According to the minister, the action plan provides asylum assistance and psychological care to Belarusian victims of torture and those fleeing persecution, supports independent media and offers scholarships to students who were expelled from their schools and universities for participating in anti-government demonstrations.

Petr Bystron, the spokesman for the Alternative for Germany party in the Bundestag's committee on foreign affairs, told Sputnik that human rights are being violated in the European Union in general and Germany in particular.

As an example, the lawmaker mentioned the "brutal repression" of the Yellow Vests protests in France, where over 100 people were seriously injured.

"In Germany, too, the largest opposition party is systematically suppressed. Their politicians are attacked, cars are set on fire, houses are graffitied, their politicians are beaten up in the streets. People who stand up for this party lose their jobs and are intimidated and socially excluded," Bystron said.

According to the spokesman, by interfering in the affairs of other states, the EU is trying to expand its influence and reduce the influence of Russia. Berlin's support for the Belarusian opposition is not something surprising here, he argued.

"This is a clear attempt to overthrow the elected President Alexander Lukashenko and establish a new government and in turn, reduce Russian influence. It will lead to a further deterioration of the already strained German-Russian relations. This is another move towards further escalation between the EU and Germany on the one hand and Russia and Belarus on the other," Bystron concluded.

Alexander Neu, the Die Linke party spokesman in the Bundestag's Defense Committee, told Sputnik that Berlin's support of the Belarusian opposition must be judged negatively and condemned.

"Under the guise of a commitment to democracy, freedom and human rights, it is in fact interference from outside - by Berlin in the internal affairs of Belarus. Behind this is the attempt by the collective West, led by the US, to bring about a regime change in Minsk along the lines of the 'colour revolution.' Unfortunately, Washington's European vassals, in this case the Berlin government, are also participating in this attempt," the lawmaker said.

Neu noted that Die Linke as a left party condemns police violence and brutality. According to him, Minsk has not reacted "in a politically wise way" by brutally dealing with protesters.

"However, we as the left demand from the Federal government not to apply double standards. The complaints about police violence in Belarus would be more credible if Berlin had condemned the brutal actions of the French police, for example against the Yellow Vests, in the same way," he stressed.

Belarus entered a prolonged political crisis after Lukashenko secured his sixth term during the August 9 presidential election. The opposition did not recognize the results, claiming that Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was the real winner. Western countries have refused to recognize Lukashenko's victory and slapped sanctions on dozens of Belarusian officials over alleged election fraud and a crackdown on the opposition.

The AfD lawmaker also criticized the participation of a German diplomat in a recent unauthorized rally in Moscow in support of opposition activist Alexey Navalny. This diplomat is among three other foreign diplomats who were expelled from Russia over their involvement in rallies.

"It is an international disgrace for Germany that now every year diplomats are kicked out of countries and declared 'personae non gratae.' And the activity of the diplomats is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the subversive work is carried out through a network of NGOs, which are largely funded by the state. The AfD sharply criticizes this approach. It has in time recognized the need to question critically the role of the NGOs' financial flows and to legislate on these structures, which are not democratically legitimized by anyone," he said.

The Die Linke lawmaker believes that the West in general and Berlin, in particular, would continue interfering in domestic affairs of other states and this will not change during US President Joe Biden's administration.