Belarus Freedom Forum asks the US government to recognize Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the democratic forces of Belarus and the evident winner of the contested August 2020 presidential election in Belarus, as the official representative of the people of Belarus.
- We are a bipartisan advocacy organization of Belarusian-Americans working to facilitate a democratic breakthrough in Belarus. We envision a strong Belarusian-American community that positively contributes to the fabric of American society and promotes its democratic values in the global arena.
- Provide support to the democratic movement in Belarus
- Create an informational resource about culture, history, and current events in Belarus
- Offer a platform for discussion of U.S. policy related to Belarus
- Facilitate constructive dialogue between Belarusian and American societies
The Belarusian American organizations, representing the interests of the Belarusians in the United States, call on the Biden-Harris administration and the U.S. Congress to take additional immediate actions aimed at the Putin and Lukashenka regimes for the invasion of independent and sovereign Ukraine and the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people.
The Belarus Freedom Forum, representing the interests of the Belarusian Americans in the U.S., calls on the Biden-Harris administration and the members of the U.S. Congress to take immediate actions aimed at the Lukashenka’s and Putin’s regimes that undermined the sovereignty and independence of Belarus, advanced the integration of Belarus in the so-called “Union State” and orchestrated aggression against Ukraine.
Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops in Belarus. Russian troops will remain in Belarus on a permanent or rotational basis under the pretext of completing the drills. Controversial constitutional amendments will remove the country’s neutrality status and allow the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus. There will be no polling stations outside of Belarus. The IMF’s $1 bln. did nothing to prevent accelerating the COVID crisis in Belarus. As political prisoners go on hunger strikes and Belarusians flee from persecution and economic collapse, the need for Temporary Protected Status for Belarusian refugees in the U.S. becomes more acute.
The ongoing crisis over Ukraine has been exacerbated by recent Lukashenka’s claims that he’s willing to go to war with Ukraine if either Belarus or Russia is attacked. Russia has been increasing its military presence in Belarus, including in areas close to Ukraine, in preparation for the upcoming joint military drills.
The Russian Federation is widening its military presence in Belarus: the two countries have already announced their joint military exercises in February. Belarusian journalists and human rights activists continue their work against Lukashenka’s regime despite the threats and possibilities of the arrest. The Baltic states saw their economic trade with Belarus increase in 2021, despite the harsh rhetoric towards Lukashenka’s regime.
The Belarus Freedom Forum calls upon the U.S. Government to condemn any current or potential plans to deploy Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus. Belarus has been a nuclear-free country since 1996, maintaining its commitment to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on non-proliferation in exchange for security assurances by the United States. American commitment to the sovereignty of Belarus has ensured a peaceful future for the country and strategic balance in the region. Lukashenka is willing to upset that balance in exchange for Russian support of his oppressive regime.
On behalf of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States, Belarus Freedom Forum calls upon the Biden-Harris Administration to take immediate measures to secure the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine, setting conditions for Russia to end its aggression and divert its military away from the Ukrainian borders.
Thirty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Lukashenka’s Belarus economically and politically has moved closer to Russia, partially fulfilling Putin’s dream of restoration of the Russian empire. After the massive pro-democracy protests in Belarus, the Lukashenka regime openly embraced violence and repressions, the ideology of confrontation with the West, and democratic principles. Lukashenka’s Belarus silenced and eliminated political opponents, orchestrated migrant crisis on the Belarus-EU border, and pledged full support to Putin’s aggressive plans toward Ukraine.
Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Congressmen James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) signed a bipartisan letter urging Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to give Special Student Relief eligibility to Belarusian students in the U.S. and extend Temporary Protective Status to Belarusian democracy activists in the U.S.