21 January 2018, Sunday, 5:37

Alyaksei Yanukevich: Putin will circumvent Western sanctions with help of Belarus


The official Minsk is going to benefit from the Western sanctions against Russia.

Such a statement was made by the chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Alyaksei Yanukovich. Charter97.org website was informed about that by the press-service of the party.

On July 16 the government of the United States imposed a new package of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation. Not only a number of Russian officials, but major financial firms, energy, defense and machine manufacturing companies have been affected by the sectoral sanctions: Gazprombank, Rosneft, Vneshekonombank, Kalashnikov military concern, Uralvagonozavod, Novatek and others. In the nearest future the decision on analogous sanctions by Europe is to be announced. In addition, it is expected that all financial joint projects are to be closed in Russia, credit lines closed, ban on investment in Russian economy and of recall of previous sanctions.

In an interview to the party press-service Alyaksei Yanukovich gives estimation to this move of Western states:

“First of all, the Belarusian Popular Front Party decisively welcomes new, more serious sanctions against Russia as an aggressor, which had occupied a part of the territorially independent Ukraine, and provides direct military support to separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine by arms, armoured vehicles and manpower.

Sanctions are aimed at the most sensitive spots of Putin’s regime – the energy industry, the defense industry and the financial sector. It is obvious that the Russian economy faces hard times now.”

Besides, the politician told about his vision of Belarus’ participation in the conflict: “Under such conditions the authorities of Belarus are most likely to continue the policy of manoeuvring, trying to take both political and economic advantages from this situation.

I do not exclude that the official Minsk would try to benefit from the Western sanctions against Russia by taking the niche of a kind of offshore, through which Russian military-industrial, fuel and energy, and financial sectors would be able to maintain relations with the rest of the world and circumvent the sanctions. At the same time, in order to perform this role properly, the Belarusian authorities should have to achieve certain improvement of relations with the West. Small, but visible steps in this direction are observed by us in recent months. I predict that this line is to be continued in the nearest future.

Simultaneously the official Minsk will be not so inclined to offer open support to the actions of Russia, as under full-fledged sanctions against Russia, likelihood of imposing sanctions against its closest military and political ally increases.”

Yanukevich believes t these sanctions are to have a positive impact on Belarus. “In the long run, imposing sanctions against Russia could have positive effect for our country, as the project of the Eurasian Union, harmful and dangerous for Belarus, could be called into question. Russia could simply have insufficient economic leverage to motivate or force official Minsk or Astana to fully implement this risky geopolitical project.

I hope that full-scale solidary sanctions by the US and Europe will make the leadership of Russia give up seizing Ukrainian territories and interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine. I also hope that this situation is to vividly demonstrate to the entire Belarusian society the faultiness and extreme danger of unilateral geopolitical and economic orientation to the East.”