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Lithuanian Political Scientist: All Kinds Of Restrictive Measures Must Be Used Against Lukashenka - From Oil Products To Belaruskali

Lithuanian Political Scientist: All Kinds Of Restrictive Measures Must Be Used Against Lukashenka - From Oil Products To Belaruskali

It is also worth striking a blow to smuggling.

The Lukashenka regime hijacked the Ryanair airplane, flying from Athens to Vilnius. For this purpose, it brought military aviation, and Belarusian air traffic controllers tricked the plane into landing in Minsk. Journalist Raman Pratasevich was on board the plane. He and his girlfriend were detained.

How does the West assess such actions of the Belarusian regime?

Charter97.org talked about it with Marius Laurinavičius, chief analyst of the Vilnius Institute of Political Analysis.

- As an act of terrorism, committed by the state. It's already clear to everyone, some people call it a pirate act, but the hijacking is a terrorist act.

- Some EU countries have already restricted the flights of Belarusian airlines. A lot of people say that this is not a sufficient punishment for hijacking. What else can the EU countries do?

- The EU countries can do anything. The problem is not whether there is leverage, but whether there is political will. If we recognize that this is a terrorist act, then we have to fight like with terrorists, i.e. by limiting access to financing. In this case, we must apply all possible restrictive measures, from oil products to Belaruskali, which go through Lithuania. Moreover, it is necessary to increase the severity of the fight against the smuggling that feeds this regime. Everything that has been done is already good. I would even say that compared to the way the West reacts to terrorist acts committed by the Kremlin, this is a much tougher reaction, but, of course, it is not enough. Let's see how much political will there is to go further and really fight the terrorists.

- Head of the German Foreign Ministry and head of the European diplomacy Josep Borell announced that sectoral economic sanctions were prepared against exports of Belarusian potash and oil products, as well as against the financial system of Belarus. Do you personally support such actions of the European Union?

- By all means, if we have to do with terrorists, they must be fought with. First of all, to restrict access to finance. What you have mentioned is a small part, and there are many other measures to limit the terrorist regime. The EU countries have to do everything if they want to protect themselves. I'm not saying that this is somehow less important, but it is not about the state of affairs in Belarus itself, repression, and so on, but about a terrorist act against the European Union, because the plane, the company, the residents, are all from the European Union. The hijacking of the plane is an act of terrorism that was directed against the EU, if we want it not to happen again, we have to take serious measures.

- Rod Liddle, editor of The Spectator magazine, said Lukashenka should be treated like the U.S. treats Bin Laden. He called for "isolating the terrorist." Can Lukashenka be called Europe's new Bin Laden? How strong is Lukashenka's terrorist threat to the region?

- He has proved it himself. It is a never-seen-before case that a state would hijack a plane that was flying through its airspace. It's not so important to call Lukashenka Bin Laden or whatever, the most important thing is to understand what has happened. There has been a terrorist act, committed by the state. As to what to call Lukashenka, it is a secondary matter.

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