The Chair of the Swedish Parliament Urban Ahlin expressed admiration for the people of Belarus and a strong belief in the future transformative power of the country. Speaking with EHU students, Ahlin told them he sees enormous potential in Belarus.
“It is a bit like Sweden in size; it is also a nature-loving, homogenous society,” said Ahlin. “It would be great if a country like Belarus could be a transformative power by becoming a prosperous and democratic country.”
Ahlin was welcomed by EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov, who called Ahlin “a long-term great friend of EHU.”
Students shared their experiences of studying at a university-in-exile. According to them, even if it is difficult decision to leave one’s homeland at a young age, it strengthens one’s character.
“University means community to me, especially at EHU,” said the President of EHU’s Student Union Dzyanis Kuchinsky. He added that it is difficult for Belarusian friends to visit him because of the visa problem. Belarusians are required to apply for a visa when traveling to Lithuania.
Ahlin said he felt there should be more movement and openness between Belarus and Europe.
“I have criticized the Belarusian regime for not being democratic. I have also been criticizing the EU for not letting people in,” said the Swedish politician.
The Swedish government has been generous and stalwart in its support of EHU, believing in the power of knowledge and the importance of education for making a world a better place. Such support is vital for the University and helps it to continue its mission.