Russia could play an important role in maintaining the rule of law during the upcoming election in Belarus, wannabe presidential candidate Valery Tsapkala said in an interview with RBC.
When asked whether the Belarusian government was wary of potential reputational losses on the back of the 2020 presidential campaign, Tsapkala stressed that small countries like Belarus were highly dependent on the surrounding states’ opinion of them in the present-day world.
“It is not just the USA and Europe. We hope that there will also be the clear stance of the Russian leadership who will abide by the law, who will advocate for enforcing these laws in the Union State, because Belarus is still a special partner to Russia… That is why it seems to me that a lot will depend on Russia’s position. To a lesser extent, it will depend on the position of the United States or Europe. But in general, of course, in any game it is necessary to put more or less normal face so that the world could accept you. And one should give at least the appearance of lawful acts for its citizens,” Tsapkala explained.
On June 29, the Belarusian Interior Ministry launched a probe into ‘illegal activities’ in which Valery Tsapkala was allegedly involved.
Since the beginning of the 2020 election campaign, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s would be rival Viktar Babaryka, might-have been opponent Syarhei Tsikhanouski, politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets, as well as dozens of people have been placed into custody According to the human rights centre Viasna, more than 360 people were detained at the rallies of solidarity with the arrested (as well as before and after the rallies) which were held throughout the country from 18 to 21 June.