On European sanctions against Belarus

The European Union has imposed sanctions against the Belarusian authorities.

On European sanctions against Belarus

There were 40 people under restrictions. At the same time, the sanctions themselves:

1. They are symbolic because visa restrictions for those who do not travel to the EU and the seizure of assets for those who do not have them are not a threat.

2. Official Minsk, represented by Alexander Lukashenko and the grand bureaucracy loyal to him, is completely indifferent.

The sanctions were introduced because it was necessary to introduce them because democratic values are important for the EU (as understood by the European bureaucracy).

The real restrictions – sanctions against enterprises, a ban on the supply of technology, disconnection from financial instruments (same SWIFT) – were either not introduced or were introduced earlier and were put on hold (the US sanctions against 9 large state enterprises of Belarus were suspended). However, their effectiveness will not be 100% either.

RB’s trade turnover with Russia is much higher than with the EU; it is easier to supply goods to the East than to the West (less non-tariff restrictions). If the EU were in a phase of economic recovery, access for Belarusian products could be liberalised and at the same time it would be possible to create a fund to support reforms and democracy.

But the EU is “not an ATM”, so there will be no money – the European bureaucrats and the USA are more interested in the Belarusian population, which will continue to involve young people studying in the EU countries and mass communication media (Belarusian telegram channels have increased their audience 3-15 times in a month and a half).

This impact is much more dangerous for RB and Russia than sanctions, which, as Navalny, who revived his life, admitted, the Kremlin does not care.

That is why official Minsk has three major tasks: dialogue with its population (not with the leaders of the opposition in exile, but with the citizens of Belarus, who continue to take to the streets) and dismantling the EU and US influence network in Belarus itself and deepening integration with Russia. It is important for Moscow to start a dialogue with the protesters in Belarus, to carry out constitutional reform and to replace the pro-Western network of influence with a pro-Russian network of influence.

Otherwise, in a couple of years, the authorities in Belarus may find themselves in the hands of Russia’s opponents without any sanctions.

Ivan Lizan

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