No Belarus sanctions by EU despite Tikhanovskaya plea
EU imposed personal sanctions against Lukashenka and other government officials&# 160;
Experts talk about what the increased pressure from the West on Minsk can lead to&# 160;
The European Union on Friday, November 6, announced the imposition of sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko and a number of Belarusian officials, including the president’s eldest son, Viktor, who was called in the regional media the successor of his father as head of state. All the defendants were found responsible for the falsification of the presidential elections in Belarus and the violence against the protesters. They will be banned from entering EU countries, and their assets will be frozen there.
The international pressure of the West on Minsk is steadily increasing. On the eve of the OSCE and the United States called on the Belarusian authorities to stop repressions against the civilian population and to heed the people’s demands for new elections under independent supervision. Minsk predictably ignored these calls and promised to take action in response to the sanctions.
Stanislav Shushkevich: “Only violence is stable in our country”
Stanislav Shushkevich, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus, who signed the Belovezhskaya Agreements in 1991 as the head of the Republic of Belarus, believes that the new personal sanctions of the EU have become a clearer signal to Minsk than the previous ones. In his opinion, now the persons included in the “black list”, at least, will not be able to freely withdraw money from the country..
“Such sanctions are needed,” he stressed in an interview with the Russian service of “Voice of America”. “The list includes villains, security officials, or Lukashenka’s relatives. It is also correct that a son was included in it – a candidate for the next presidency. But the numerous “beautiful” calls (from the West) to Minsk, in my opinion, will not lead to anything, no matter how constructive they may be. This is the voice of one crying in the wilderness “.
At the same time, Stanislav Shushkevich is sure that even more drastic measures are needed today to force the Belarusian authorities to stop repressions against the population and start a dialogue with society. “However, I see that whenever difficult times come for Lukashenka, not only Russia but also individual Western countries rescues him with money,” he says. – Previously, this was explained by the need to maintain stability in the region. What kind of stability are we talking about here? Only violence is stable in our country “.
At the same time, the politician believes that Moscow supports Lukashenka, because there is no more profitable partner for it now. “The Kremlin wants to gradually take over Belarus and enlarge the Russian empire by joining the republic to itself. And it’s hard to imagine anyone better than Lukashenka for the implementation of such goals. Whatever he says about the independence of Belarus, it means absolutely nothing. His actions are completely at variance with his words. This has to be distinguished. Many people in the West understand this well, but not all “.
In conclusion, Stanislav Shushkevich expressed hope that the West’s assistance to “long-suffering Belarus” will continue. Meanwhile, persecution of opponents of the regime continues in Belarus. For reposts on social networks, ten days of arrest was awarded, in particular, to the son of Stanislav Shushkevich. The politician himself called it “personal revenge” on the part of the authorities.
Andriy Okara: “It’s still a big question, will the Kremlin continue to cling to Lukashenka?”
In turn, the director of the Center for Eastern European Studies, Andrei Okara, thinks that the next EU sanctions do not fundamentally change anything in relations between Brussels and Minsk, but once again emphasize the illegitimacy of Alexander Lukashenko. According to the political scientist, today has become a frontier for Lukashenka, since the day before his presidential powers expired, which originate from the inauguration in 2015..
“In this regard, the question arises of how the governments and heads of those countries that did not recognize the results of the last presidential elections in Belarus and the“ secret ”inauguration of Lukashenka will behave now, – added the interlocutor of the Voice of America. – A complex dilemma in the political and legal sense “.
As for external influence on Minsk, it is very important and plays a serious role, Andrei Okara stated. “First of all, economically,” he said. – The Belarusian authorities seem to have got used to political pressure and pretend that they are indifferent to it. Moreover, they still feel Moscow’s support. And the economic impact is much more painful. Because Belarus is a country without serious resources of its own and is extremely dependent on foreign economic activity “.
In the short term, within 3-4 months, if nothing dramatic happens earlier, Minsk’s financial resources may run out, the political scientist suggested..
“Moscow, in fact, didn’t put in a lot of money,” he continued. – Of the $ 1.5 billion new loan allocated to Minsk, a significant part of the funds remains in Russia to pay off old Belarusian debts. So it is still a big question whether the Kremlin will continue to hold on to Lukashenka. “.
It is no coincidence that Moscow has now taken a certain pause in terms of resolving the Belarusian issue, concluded the director of the Center for Eastern European Studies..