16 December 2017, Saturday, 2:29

Alexander Khara: Lukashenka's Regime Has Many Sore Spots

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ALEXANDER KHARA
PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The Ukrainian authorities should increase pressure on the official Minsk.

The Ukrainian political scientist, the expert of the fund Maidan of Foreign Affairs Alexander Khara expressed this opinion in an interview with Charter97.org:

– Last week all Ukrainian politicians discussed the demarche of Belarus at the UN vote on a resolution on violations ща human rights in the Crimea. Belarus supported the position of Russia and voted against the adoption of the resolution. November 17, it became known that the KGB detained Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sharoiko. What is your assessment of such a policy of the official Minsk?

– To begin with, I do not quite understand why Ukrainian journalists travel to a state that is a military and political ally of the aggressor country Russia, with which we are at war de facto.

It is difficult for me to explain this, since any person interested in international politics knows that Minsk and Moscow coordinate their policies at the level of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all special services are in close cooperation and are mutually integrated. I am sincerely surprised that our citizens perceive Lukashenka's Belarus as a friendly country to Ukraine.

We can't expect anything else from the regime that strangles the rights and freedoms of its own citizens. Why should it treat foreign citizens in a different way? Everything is quite simple and logical.

Such actions can not be called the policy of a friendly state. I'm surprised that there is no demarche and the steps that the Ukrainian government must take in this situation.

– How should the Ukrainian authorities react to such actions of official Minsk?

– The Ukrainian military-political leadership has certain illusions about Belarus. They think that if they have a friendly conversation with Minsk, it will somehow affect its neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

It is clear that Belarus will not attack Ukraine. However, Lukashenka cannot guarantee that Russia will not be use the territory of Belarus as a springboard for armed aggression, let alone sabotage and intelligence activities.

I believe that such a policy of the Ukrainian authorities is short-sighted. Of course, there is no need to break diplomatic relations immediately, but there should be some official reaction. Everything should begin with the call of the Belarusian ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he will have to face reprimands regarding such unacceptable actions.

Secondly, Lukashenka's regime has many sore spots. After the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Belarus has become an intermediary in issues connected with the transit of people and goods, as well as an intermediary in issues that Kiev and Moscow cannot directly realize.

The regime lives on this, because it harvests economic benefits from this situation, and there are also political dividends. One can play in this field, blocking the oxygen for the regime of Lukashenka.

Ukraine has the right to appeal to European colleagues asking to put the Belarusian regime under pressure. Especially that we are witnessing a certain "warming" of relationships between the EU and Lukashenka. These are mechanisms of soft impact.

I am also sure that Belarusian and Russian intelligence services are working under the cover of the Belarusian diplomatic mission in Kiev. Therefore, if one of our citizens turned out to be a "spy," at least according to the official propaganda, then there are those on the territory of Ukraine who are engaged in illegal activities, which contradict the friendly relations, which the official Kiev and Minsk declared on paper. There are always tools or soft pressure, but since such an unfriendly policy has become a system – we need to strengthen the pressure.