Far from representing a show of strength, the brutal post-election crackdown in Belarus was a sign of the Lukashenka regime’s internal weakness. The EU must seize this opportunity to isolate the President while working with Belarusian society to help the country move beyond authoritarianism. It must also take advantage of Russia’s growing frustration with its ally to begin a direct conversation with Moscow about Minsk – something that Lukashenka fears.
With EU foreign ministers due to meet next Monday (31st January) to decide on imposing sanctions on Belarus, the European Council on Foreign Relations and FRIDE today publish The EU and Belarus after the election. This policy memo argues that while Europe must send a strong message to Belarus and the world that it will not tolerate repression and electoral fraud, blanket punishments should be avoided.
The EU and Belarus after the election was written by Balazs Jarabik, Jana Kobzova and Andrew Wilson. They argue:
For a podcast with Jana Kobzova and Andrew Wilson, click here. To read a recent opinion piece by them on Belarus, click here. To read their comments in the media, including the NYT, WSJ, the Guardian and Moscow News, please see our In the Press section.
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