For the attention of Ursula von der Leyen.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered her State of the Union Address to the European Parliament on Wednesday, September 14, and made a very important confession. She said that the war taught one serious lesson: it was necessary to listen to those who know what to expect from Russia. For example, Poland, the Baltic countries, the Belarusian opposition... The recognition is bold, long-awaited, but incomplete.
Von der Leyen was referring to the Belarusian opposition, which appeared not in 2020, but much earlier. Since I associate myself with this, real opposition, I consider it necessary to make clarifications.
Of course, the main source of evil today is Putin's Russia, which unleashed a terrible war, and the main task of all civilized mankind is to help Ukraine win this war, and put an end to this evil, preferably forever.
However, a military victory over Russia is not enough. It is necessary to completely remove the cancerous tumor of dictatorship that has grown in our region. It is dictatorial regimes that are the source and nourishing broth of deadly wars.
The war in Europe did not happen unexpectedly. It was systematically, slowly prepared by two dictatorships — Putin's and Lukashenka's — in front of everyone.
It was on the territory of Belarus that for many years Lukashenka allowed the Kremlin to conduct large-scale maneuvers, which worked out scenarios of Russian aggression in Europe with the support of the Lukashenka regime. At the same time, Lukashenka's dictatorship served as a model for building a dictatorship in Russia. Belarus has become a testing ground for practicing the most brutal methods of eliminating human rights, civil and political freedoms. The obedience of a society strangled by repression unties the hands of psychopaths in power.
These processes took place with the condescending and sometimes benevolent attitude of the democratic world to all these preparations. Sometimes, however, soft sanctions were applied, when dictators crossed all the boundaries of cruelty and lies, but they were short-lived, and therefore their effect was limited.
The tumor dictatorships must be completely removed. This means getting rid of both regimes: in Moscow and Minsk.
To admit the idea that Lukashenka can stay after Putin's departure means to allow not just the continuation of the war, but its escalation and overflow into neighboring territories.
The European Union has accumulated more than sufficient experience of interaction with the Lukashenka regime. Various approaches have been tried, in which all European carrots were eaten with pleasure by the dictatorship. Do not look for new delicacies for scoundrels. There is nothing difficult in choosing the right model of relations with dictators: they cannot be encouraged, they cannot be fooled, they understand only the language of force, only beating with a stick.
The European Union cannot afford to get “exhausted” of problems with Lukashenka, only not during the terrible war that this dictator supports and participates in on the side of the Kremlin.
The European Union today has enough leverage, means, and experience to curb the Lukashenka regime.
Neither menacing statements nor sweet exhortations work with Lukashenka. But sanctions do work. He and Putin began to openly admit this, and beg for concessions.
This means that it is necessary to apply what works, especially for the release of political prisoners.
There are thousands of them in Belarus, and only tough sanctions will allow them to walk free.
Dictators do not understand another language.
Lukashenka's policy is as simple as the construction of a rural outhouse. It is based on lies.
Moreover, these lies are constant, long-term, without rest, without a gap for half-truths, without logic, and without shame.
The calculation is simple: to exhaust everyone with lies, increasing its degree and absurdity, and to find weak links among those “exhausted” of this lie, ready to pretend that they believe in the dictator’s promises to take the path of correction.
In the past, these tricks of his, unfortunately, worked, partly because of the naivety of politicians, partly because of corruption. The business interests of Western politicians caused them a kind of deafness.
Today, such experiments are simply unacceptable. They have already led to war.
It's good that Ursula von der Leyen admitted her mistakes. It remains to start listening to those who understand the real threat of dictatorial regimes that undermine international security. It remains to understand that the Lukashenka regime must bear full responsibility for the crimes against the people of Belarus, for murders, torture, and violence.
It remains to take effective measures so that the Lukashenka regime, as an accomplice in Russia's aggression in Ukraine, does not escape the same responsibility for this war as the Putin regime.
Andrei Sannikov, Facebook