The expert said that Europe had no leverage over Lukashenko

Europe demonstrates a passive reaction to the events taking place in Belarus, as it has no levers to influence the President of this country Alexander Lukashenko, said leading expert of the European Council on Foreign Relations Gustav Gressel to RIA Novosti.

“Europe remains mostly passive. There are protests among civil society, but the diplomats themselves do not know what to do. They do not have much influence and leverage over Lukashenko, so they cannot influence him. Comments on this will not help”, –  explained the interlocutor of the agency.

According to the European expert, the announced preliminary results of the elections in Belarus show that Lukashenko is not ready to change his policy and admit his mistakes, which means that under certain circumstances, the Ukrainian scenario may be repeated in Belarus.

The expert is convinced that the announced election results are far from the real situation in this country.


“It was expected that they would be falsified, but the fact that Lukashenka did not even admit that his popularity was falling was a surprise. I thought he could ascribe something to himself about 65%, but it’s a complete laugh”, –  said the agency interlocutor.

According to him, one can expect that the coming weeks and even months in Belarus “will be tense”.

“People knew that Lukashenko wouldn’t be ready to give up, but now they know that he’s also not ready to change policy, admit mistakes or think about a smooth transition to something else”, –  said Gressel.

According to the European expert, the further stability of the current government in Belarus will depend on the loyalty of the security forces.

“I can’t judge about it. As long as I don’t see any cracks. But they may appear if the protests continue”, –  suggested the expert.

He drew an analogy with the events in Kiev in early 2014. “Like in Kiev, the Golden Eagle was first loyal.” When the situation escalated in January and February, the police split up, and those who wanted to use force did so, while others went home.

“There were too many others to keep the power afloat, so (Viktor) Yanukovych went down in history”,  –  Gressel stressed.

Presidential elections in Belarus were held on August 9. According to preliminary data of the CEC, the incumbent head of the state Alexander Lukashenko gained 80.23% of the votes. Sunday evening, mass unauthorized protests began in several cities of Belarus. The protesters in the center of Minsk were building barricades of garbage cans. The police used tear gas, water cannons and light-noise grenades against them, as well as forced the protesters out of the city center. In the course of the actions, there were casualties and several people were taken to hospital.

The EU called for “disproportionate” use of force against protesters and called for the release of all detainees last night. In addition, Brussels warned that they would further build relations with Minsk in the light of the events in Belarus.