Lukashenko Should Be Overthrown

Signal of CE Summit

While the leaders of some CE member countries were discussing the issue of democratizing Byelorussia and overthrowing the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, about 1000 anarchists were condemning the activities of the biggest political organization in the streets of Warsaw.

The anarchists stated that the Council of Europe is a useless and expensive structure. They kept saying that its activities yield no effective results. The Polish and foreign anarchists thought that the documents adopted by the Council of Europe are "absurd bills," while the organization men are "schizophrenics and two-faced."

To Build Democracy in Byelorussia Means to Overthrow Lukashenko

The leaders of the neighboring countries of Byelorussia, except for Russia, believe that the overthrow of Alexander Lukashenko's dictatorship is an issue of primary importance at the third CE Summit.

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia, called Lukashenko "the last dictator of Europe," expressing hope that "one day Byelorussia will join the great community of democracy."

Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuania, called Byelorussia "a gray area on the map of the European democracy." He said that "it is necessary to support the people of Byelorussia in building an open and democratic society."

The leaders of Estonia, Poland and Georgia, as well as other high-ranking officials of CE made similar statements on this issue. By the way, the anarchists that condemned CE, were criticizing Lukashenko as well. They complained that CE member countries Turkey and Russia are violating the rights of the Kurds and the Chechens, while a number of European countries led by the US continue inhumane actions in Iraq.

CE Summit without Important Leaders

The Council of Europe that has 56 years of history had held its third summit. If in 1993, the CE Summit in Vienna contributed to the enlargement of the CE to the East, including the former Soviet republics and the socialistic states, four years later, in 1997, the CE Summit in Strasbourg, stated the importance of maintaining the democracy and human rights issues in the newly admitted member states.

There were three main topics in the Warsaw Summit, i.e. European integrity and European values, the challenges threatening to Europe (terrorism, corruption, organized crime, trafficking). and the European architecture.

Only Gerhard Schroder, Chancellor of Germany, arrived in Warsaw, among the five leaders of the five powerful European states. French President Jacques Shirac, Tony Blair, British PM and Silvio Berlusconi, Italian PM gave preference to the home affairs of their own countries. While Vladimir Putin didn't arrive in Warsaw because of complicated relations between Russia and the CE, as well as the relations between Russia and Poland.

If the CE condemned Russia in crackdown on democracy, in violating the human rights, including the actions in Chechnya, the Polish authorities allow to call squares after Chechen attackers in Warsaw, that are merely called terrorists in Russia.

Black Spots of Europe

Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgian President, called "Transdniestria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the remains of the Soviet empire," "the black spots" of Europe. He expressed hope that Romania, Ukraine and Georgia will play a decisive part in the settlement of these conflicts.

In general, Saakashvili tried to introduce himself not only as a leader of a very important country, but also as a missioner that is ready to make the Black Sea basin an oasis for democracy. He reminded of the visit of George Bush to Tbilisi in his speech and added that the military presence of Russia in his country is the drawback of the Soviet empire and called for Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia.

CE and OSCE to Cooperate More Actively

The Council of Europe and the OSCE adopted a declaration within the framework of the CE Summit, according to which they should unfold more active cooperation to face the challenges and the threats of the 21st century.

The CE is gradually becoming less attractive for the EU member countries, in particular. These countries are the members of both the EU and the OSCE. In fact, the leading European countries do not impart much importance to the Council of Europe, while the countries that support democracy and the human rights often criticize the organization for meddling in their home affairs.

By Tatoul Hakobian in Warsaw