tv DW News Deutsche Welle August 19, 2020 3:00pm-3:30pm CEST
system from some of bellary says neighbors or wards but not from one important one. the bit of russian president vladimir putin received phone calls from german chancellor angela merkel and the e.u. leaders on tuesday merkel said political prisoners in belarus must be released and there must be a national dialogue to settle things peacefully. but according to the kremlin putin's reply was to tell them to stop meddling in belarus where the powerful neighbors get involved or not the bellary see an opposition is planning the next step to bring lukas shanker is rule 2 in and. let's go right to minsk for more our correspondent nick conley is standing by for us hi nick good to see you so another day of unrest there strikes around the country more protests expected this evening is there the sense that the opposition and the demonstrators are gaining
ground. in the fact that this square in front of government house in minsk is empty now in the rain is no indication that these protests are losing their dynamism their momentum from the beginning this has been very diffuse protests spread across and then spread across the whole country and people have been coming out for events in the evenings going back to work and they've really made a conscious decision not to set up a central part of the government then surround and clear arresting people even from where i'm standing now i can see people walking with flags on the side of the road drivers beeping their horns in support of those protesters so it's a very fast moving very diffuse situation here but things looking good for president. you get a sense of people they've lost their fear of challenging the government out in the open i think that something will be very difficult for the regime here to dial back even if these protests words die out there are stories of policemen who are just refusing to arrest the testers of resigning their jobs as you mentioned in thai
factories going on strike so this is a very very fascinating situation one in which it seems to be playing catch up right now and not very effectively and what about the other player in all of this russia is russia openly supporting look. well that's the $1000000.00 question obviously. of alloys russia sees belarus as its closest ally they have even been pushes from the russians to somehow integrate further some kind of federation turning the 2 into one country obviously right now more open political support for could be toxic look shanker could anger the protest this even further because that would be a sign that maybe looks think will be willing to give up to 70 in return for support of his rule. and we're going to jump in here because chancellor merkel is now speaking to the press after her video conference let's listen in. and the commission for. having convene this meeting the main
point 5 discussion was the question of the situation in bello rusts. and it's obvious enough the images of the peaceful demonstrations of the demonstrators there are ones that have moved all of us in recent days the courage of those demonstrating peacefully impressed us. and today in the european council we x. breast i have opinion and this is true for the german bundestag as well that we stand with the peaceful demonstrators there's been close contact in recent days for a new person is well with many of the member states and i particularly want to thank lithuania. the opposition leader was taken in by lithuania but they've also done a great deal of. things to try and support civil society and if you want i also
want to thank poland for us as members of the european council there is no debt there have been huge infringements against election rules these elections were not free and they were not fair. and this is why we do not recognize the results of these elections together in a common message of the member states we've said clearly that we can damage the brutal violence against the demonstrators as well as the imprisonment and use of violence exerted against thousands of belorussians we are calling for the regime of the government of mr lucas schenkel to cease all violence but the freedom of opinion and freedom to demonstrate must be guaranteed and we also called for an independent media so that people can get independent information we are calling for all prisoners to be released unconditionally and we are pushing
for a national dialogue as the opposition and beller us has called for and this needs to be an inclusive dialogue in which all of the parties can be involved with the. stakeholders need to be able to act freely if they are involved in this and we could imagine as the e.u. that the o.e.c.d. might play an important role in this context just as the oh dear organization as well which could look into these elections. like the foreign ministers we have also called for a strengthening of the efforts that the foreign ministers called for namely targeted sanctions that are not impact on the belorussians themselves but rather that are targeted on those who are responsible for the violence and imprisonment and the fossil vacation of the elections within the framework of our eastern partnership we would want to strengthen civic society in belarus but it's
completely clear for us that belarus must find its own way. to dial. obvious the way forward within the country and there cannot be external intervention the people in bell of us know what they want they know what's good for them and this is why we want to have an independent way forward for bellerose with the land itself deciding on its political way forward peacefully and on the basis of dialogue so these this is sort of the quinta sense of our discussions we discussed 2 other things as well one was the situation in mali the french president particularly reported on this. because the high level of troop presence and their close ties in the sun held zone and to mali as well mean that he's impacted on by theirs as well we condemn the military push we are pushing for
stability in mali. and for their return to peace we need to look at the focus on combating terrorism in the country and we are supporting the efforts of the eco bus eco was regional organization to find a peaceful solution to this conflict we believe this is most important that eco us and its member states need to exert all of the influence they can to achieve a good settlement of this problem creating a peaceful situation the 3rd thing we discussed was the situation in the eastern mediterranean we expressed our concerns in the eastern mediterranean area. all efforts must be undertaken to de escalate the situation it is extremely dangerous we expressed our so the charity with cyprus and greece.
concerning their rights. and we also referred to the fact that the special european council meeting in september we will look at this in more detail not least in terms of our relations with turkey which is multi-faceted you'll be aware of the fact that germany advocates entering into a dialogue again about the controversial question of maritime borders we have this dialogue until 2016 we believe it should be reinstated between greece and turkey. but obviously we are extremely concerned about the rise of tensions there and we will be referring to this in more detail in september so that by way of a report on what we discussed today and i'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
there was criticism. of the fact that far too little has been happening what can you say to these committed young women who will be talking to you what can you offer them in terms of stepping up the climate protection for the e.u. 2020. well there was a request from ms knight bauer put forward to us for a discussion of this kind which is why i am happy to have it if there is a wish to speak to us then why not i'm sure it has to do with the fact that germany is president of the european council at the moment you know that we can only refer
to the proposals put forward by the commission i will be able to explain where we are with this mr timmins the vice president the european commission is responsible for this and he has commissioned an impact study before the commission comes up with its own proposals of the impact on the environment on agriculture on industry are important perhaps it's important as well that we've presented the report on the climate. very recently and this brings us closer to our goals for 2020 but unfortunately not perhaps the way we would have liked to achieve these goals rather through the country. and tomorrow i will also be referring to the fact that the whole question of emissions certificate trading move is one that in recent months and years has developed well because we are seeing
a significant certificate price which has led to not just because of the corona pandemic but also because of the carbon emissions pricing has seen experts of exports of lignite emissions to other countries from germany has declined which has led to decline in carbon emissions here in germany as well. not a chance or a question on bellerose if i'm a russian what today and yesterday i'm going to britain complete very much want against external intervention of foreign countries so i'd like to know what the e.u. and what germany can do to support the opposition and society are there options of doing this without provoking russia and those and do you see yourself as having a mediating role here. well i personally asked for a. phone call with president lucas shankar which unfortunately didn't come about i
also asked to speak to mr putin you'll be aware of the fact that we did speak and here we address these questions in more depth. i said and there's a reason why i said that below us has to find its own way forward we can do what we always do age through eastern partnership program for example to. help civic society who wants to express themselves through programs etc so that their voice is heard but of course we will be very very careful to ensure that it is not others telling beller us what it has to do but rather that belarus and the opposition in belarus has to declare what they want i don't see a mediating role at the moment president lucas shanker has indeed refused to speak
on the telephone to me which is a real shame but you can only mediate if you speak to all parties. but despite that we will do everything we can them to push for a national dialogue where possible. madam chancellor opposition leader to kind of has called on the e.u. not to recognize the results of the elections and you have confirmed that you cannot recognize these results does that mean that president look at shankar from your perspective and perspective the e.u. is no longer the legitimate president of. iran and following on from the question that mr lincoln just put to you. what risk do you see of there being a russian interference and and how would the e.u. respond to such an interference from russia hypothetical questions don't require response as far as i'm concerned we are speaking with russia to prevent any such
escalation foreign minister lavrov also made a clear statement on this russia and belarus have close ties and many treaties with one another as well but despite that we've made it clear that military intervention by russia would make the situation far more complicated which is why i am pushing for bellaver us to finding its own way and large swathes of the opposition have nothing against russia they are directing their opposition to the practices of the president lukashenko in belo us elections were not fair they were not free but this must be noted but despite that mr lucas shank oh is still there and i'm calling for a national dialogue then naturally this involves those who have power there it is a complicated situation one in which you have to find
a way forward peacefully if possible. madam chancellor what impact will the putsch in mali have on the military president presence of the e.u. in the region well the coup hasn't had an impact a tall at the moment our defense minister. has said that the. troops are in their barracks and there aren't many of them anyway because of the current situation the mission is very far away from bamako. and so we are watching the situation carefully attentively and in close contact with france but at the moment this is not impacting a toll on the activities of our soldiers there but we will do everything we can to preserve their security. thank you.
all right if you're just joining us we've just been listening to a chance i'm speaking after an emergency video summit of e.u. leaders discussing the situation in belarus and we heard chancellor merkel there say that it is clear that you stand with the peaceful demonstrators in belarus and that the e.u. does not recognize the elections because the elections were not free and fair and she also said it's a complex situation it's clear belarus must find its own way without foreign intervention a complex situation we have our chief political editor michel because they're with us here in studio and we have in brussels both been watching this press conference with chancellor merkel let's start with you there were a few points that really you know that came out there that were interesting from tense americal including the fact that she tried to talk with president alexander lukashenko but he refused her phone call what did her press conference tell you about where germany stands on the situation right now but actually is further than
germany it's europe she just spoke to e.u. leaders and clearly the european union stands by the side of those peaceful protesters and one has to say the e.u. has done exactly what. i asked it to do which is to declare those elections not free not fair which is something normally election observers do. it's observers of the organization for democratic institutions and human rights they usually go in and russia actually is a participating member of the o.c.e. so there is a forum there for dialogue is part of it as well and she wants to see the map of the european union now kind of round table discussions with those who are in power and that includes our xander lucas saying but for now we are heading into a situation also after the statement where the e.u. is taking a clear stance on the side of those protesters and this is most likely to be read as a provocation not just in minsk but also in moscow so it's indeed
a very open situation particular going into an evening. we expect more demonstrations to take place with orders now by the still president. to police to basically clamp down on those very protests it's a really thin line for a chance on america also the entire european union to walk barbara what is your take on this from brussels and we did not hear the chancellor talk about sanctions even though just last week we understood that the european union was giving the green light for possible sanctions why do you think that is. i think the reason is because i'm going back and knows that the sanctions that have to be very targeted sanctions against groups of people in the security services in the political part of the regime now we've had sanctions for years and years against belarus between 20042016 there were in place for more than 200 valorous and politicians and security personnel including an accent to look at shango himself and where did that
go in the end so she of course cleverly didn't sort of get into that hole so we will slip more sanctions on them because it doesn't really lead anywhere they do what they do not want to do at the moment is come was economic sanctions would which would hit the people and beller was because belarus is going into in difficult economic situation in any case through these unrest and through the stretton closure of plants and enterprises if we listen to what. was said at the moment at the moment so it is a balancing act really there the 2 sides moscow on the one side and the diff 2 big powers must go on the one side and brussels on the other side as sort of showing each other their weapons moscow knows that they have to change the soldiers basically and the european union holds the purse strings they have the money and they really can hurt both parties in this game they can hurt belarus and they also
can hurt putting it economically so we are a big step away from that but the question now is to resolve this in the key seems to be in moscow more or less and that is what was under market eludes to when she talks about no foreign interference they need to find their own way it's an implicit way to talk to that image putin again and tell them let them sort of do their thing do not sort of cut this off at the moment. how big of a step was it for chancellor merkel there to say. we as the european union definitely do not recognize these election results as legitimate and she's essentially saying we heard a reporter asked that very question that we don't recognize president rightful leader of the country actually the former minister was very fast just off of those elections to declare that those elections didn't take place under such conditions of being free and fair and he was very fast and it was a very unusual reaction because that is something it's
a deliberate step to have election observers to not have states comment directly on the quality of elections particularly when they weren't able to observe them but clearly under the market has been here before this year sees 30 years of german reunification own political career is based on the end of a de facto dictatorship of east germany and this whole round table concept is something she is very familiar with because she sat at those tables where all sides were brought around one table at the same time looking what is happening in minsk right now that seems like a bit of an illusion we saw. him give signals that he wanted to reassess the constitution you might want to call fresh elections you quite clearly was very confused about the way for woods but at this moment in time the signal from the european union is that it will firmly stand on the side of democracy of human rights particularly nonviolence but this must be a provocation to russia let's look at georgia let's look at ukraine this is firmly
taking place within the sphere of influence of moscow and so that even if we didn't hear her comment in any detail on that conversation that must have been a very very tough conversation indeed with the e.u. running the risk of crossing an invisible red line there proper a how much is that you know being seen also in brussels as a really big point here is being very careful not to provoke a lot of your putin in russia we know the 2 e.u. leaders chancellor merkel and french president man what i call spoke with him on the phone yesterday and he was very clear that there should not be any foreign interference i mean how does that you see that. it is quite clear that this is the biggest threat what the e.u. doesn't want under any circumstances is a repeat situation like in ukraine in 2015 they do not want sort of russia to submerge into a neighboring country they don't want another conflict that then in the end again
ends up as a frozen conflict that nobody is willing or capable of to resolving. on the other side they do have a certain amount of hope if you look at what happened in armenia for instance in 2018 there was a sort of peaceful turn over a new new power came in in new prime minister who sort of was not anti russia but still sort of emphasized armenian independence who still sort of was able to do his own thing within certain limits and that is more or less the model of what the european union hopes for in belarus could in new person come in somebody who is not anti putin somebody who putin who putin will tolerate who put in is able to live with because if you look at the his relationship to look he certainly does not love him foreign minister sergey lavrov today said there were
problems in the elections where not ideal that is a certain point of that russia sees critical of what is happening there so they would be probably eminem to a peaceful change that is still frozen russian and that doesn't threaten russia's sort of sovereignty and reign in the whole area of russia himself and of itself and of belarus so this this is sort of more or less where this is headed where it will be possible to bring it about nobody knows the eastern european partners in the european union are a bit more heads from they want to go a bit further and be a bit more sort of courageous and the others particularly from. in germany are a bit more careful and say let's wait and see that sort of step very slowly here michelle what about the situation here in germany we asked the c.d.u. the chancellor the christian democrats foreign policy spokesperson earlier this week could germany be a mediator in this conflict he said if that is wished we would be could be but we
heard chancellor merkel say well it doesn't appear that there's an avenue for that right now but i think that would be definitely seen as interference by the european union by germany and that's also why we had a rather bizarre chancellor throwing this right back to the o.c.e. which after all it's very foundation is based on the fall of the berlin wall and allowing a forum for discussion where russia sits from the at the table russia is a very big player that nothing really moves within the organization without moscow at least tolerating it at least that's the experience and i think that that might present a potential avenue but having said that that the move putin the russian president he sees what happened after the fall of the wall as a historic mistake has an extension of crimea was actually a response to what he perceives to be storable mistake i think it's very positive thinking to see russia completely sit tight and we know that russia is very comfortable with unclear situation with the very 1st and conflicts barbara resolve
spoke to that so as we speak here today we are on very uncertain territory and we heard the machall say from a conversation with outing the putin she is having these conversations to prevent any kind of military intervention from russia so it's not completely off the table there might be an avenue and all sides are working frantically to find what exactly that can be right now and barbara just a very very quick wrap up because we're running out of time what do you think are the most important next few steps for the european union. they have to sort of wait and see very silent the very quietly support the opposition and sort of continue to show both sides and putin that they don't want this situation to escalate they have to sort of refrain from any direct interference from doing anything they just have to sort of work was words here and very careful words words and deeds thank you both so much barbara basal for us in brussels our chief political editor of the
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