21 January 2018, Sunday, 11:29

Carl Bildt: Lukashenka has what to worry about


The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden still considers Lukashenka a political loser.

Before the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius Carl Bildt gave an interview to Radio Svaboda.

- You claimed that you would visit all the capitals of the participating countries together with Radoslaw Sikorski before the EP summit in Vilnius. You did not go to Minsk, though. Why? Did not they want to accept you there or did you decide not to go yourself?

- There were several reasons. In the end together with Radoslaw Sikorski we decided that we would go only to three capitals. We sent the directors of our political departments to the three other. So the directors of the Swedish and Polish MFA’s political departments came to Minsk.

- After the presidential elections 2010 in Belarus you and some of your colleagues wrote and article, in which you called Lukashenka a loser. Looking at that from the 2013 perspective, would you say what exactly Lukashenka lost? He still has everything needed. Do you consider him a loser?

- This is true, he remains in power. But he has, to put it mildly, complicated relations with the European Union. He has quite complicated relations with Russia. The economic and social situation in the country is not improving, to put it mildly. So Belarus undoubtedly found itself in a difficult situation as to the structure of the international relations. I have a strong impression that they will have a lot to worry about in Minsk in the coming years.

- Sometimes it is impossible to abstain from irony, when you look at the Eastern Partnership, which has Mr. Aliev from Azerbaijan invited to its summits, but does not have Mr. Lukashenka from Belarus invited, although they both violate human rights. What is the difference between them?

- The difference is that Lukashenka constrains the opposition. All the key figures of the Belarusian opposition were put in jail. The situation in Azerbaijan cannot be called good, but it is different from the situation in Belarus in this sense.