The recent visit of Javier Solana to Minsk didn’t leave anybody untouched. What was the purpose of Solana’s visit?
A status of this official – the EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy – is too high to interpret this visit as an information tour. A visit of an official of this rank is a position of the united Europe, testing its new quasi-strategy in relation to Belarus.
Europe has changed policy of isolation of Belarus to policy of negotiations. But negotiations on what? On fulfilling 12 requirements of the EU, on changes in the electoral law, on recent brutal dispersals of peaceful protest demonstrations, on political prisons, on full legal rehabilitation of former politically repressed and missing people and restoring them to their civil rights?..
I have doubts that even one of these questions was discussed at a meeting of Solana and Lukashenka. Otherwise, the EU representative could hardly leave Belarus with unconcealed optimism. Rushing from 12 requirements to 4, and then, according to Solana himself, to absence of any conditions, proves that Europe didn’t understand what was going on in Belarus, and is still deluded with main issues of the Belarusian political life.
Objective of the dictatorship is clear and evident. It is unlimited and absolute power by all means! Attributes of this power in the country are total control over everyone and everything, absolute obedience to power vertical, suppression of dissidence. To have foreign support of a ruler, only the fact of negotiations with Europe is needed. Negotiations mean recognition. That’s all the dictatorship needs.
Playing into the hand of Lukashenka in this situation is closing eyes to violation of human rights and political repressions in Belarus. Europe’s forgetfulness about illegitimate character of the regime, both president and the parliament, is immoral. Frankly speaking, I didn’t understand why Solana had come. But one thing is evident – Europe makes a great mistake by offering a hand of friendship to the Belarusian dictator. I hope it is a political error, not a calculating strategy of Europe.
Mikhail Marynich is a former political prisoner, former minister of foreign economy of Belarus.