17 October 2021, Sunday, 1:19
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Expert: Putin Will Squeeze Lukashenka Out Like Lemon

Expert: Putin Will Squeeze Lukashenka Out Like Lemon

After that, several options are possible.

More and more often in Europe there are speculations that the tribunal against Aliaksandr Lukashenka could become an asymmetric response to his actions, writes delfi.lt.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Petras Vaitiekunas voiced the fact that the international tribunal can be an effective measure against provocations on the part of Lukashenka on Wednesday in the program “Topic of the day on Delfi”. However, this is not really a simple question from the legal point of view.

“Lukashenka has immunity, so such a tribunal can be a means of collecting and summarizing information in connection with crimes committed by the regime (similar to what is happening in the UK in connection with the situation of the Uyghurs in China), then they can be used if it comes to the legal proceedings,” explained the professor at the Mykolas Romeris University Justinas Žilinskas.

Similar cases are considered by the International Criminal Court, which is located in the Hague. Žilinskas said that any civil society, even another country, can submit information about the situation itself to the court.

“It is important what the International Criminal Court will do. It will first establish jurisdiction. Either the person against whom the case is initiated must be a citizen of a country that is a member of the International Criminal Court, or the crime must be committed on the territory of such a country,” the professor said.

Another way is through the UN Security Council. “But, as we know, Russia is also sitting there, it will veto any decision, as it does now with Syria. For now, hands are tied,” Žilinskas said.

Professor of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science Tomas Janelunas said that the trouble is that not only Lukashenka, but also other dictators should be held liable.

“We know such leaders who fell into the hands of the tribunal for genocide. And many escaped this or their fate turned out differently. Dictators are usually displaced by some internal forces, sometimes external ones, or the dictators themselves run away somewhere. International law operates smoothly, as much as the nation states have agreed on it,” Janelunas said.

However, he sees the point in initiating the process, collecting materials. “Let the process not be carried out to the end, but the very fact of the existence of accusations, well-grounded arguments, and evidence is important. This will lead to the dictator feeling that an investigation has been launched,” Yanelunas said, saying that in this case it is important to express his position.

The political scientist partly agrees that Lukashenka’s fate is now in the hands of Vladimir Putin. “I think Putin will now use Lukashenka as much as he needs. In other words, he will squeeze him out like a lemon - he can achieve an agreement on control over the military forces, companies, and the final integration of the financial systems of the union state,” Yanelunas said.

When Putin sees that nothing else can be squeezed out of Lukashenka, the latter will most likely be replaced, the political scientist believes. “There may be different options - from fictitious elections to an internal coup or Lukashenka's voluntary departure with the transfer of power to someone else,” Janelunas said.

He said that it is difficult to note at what point Lukashenka became a toy in Putin's hands.

“He has been giving this sovereignty away in parts for a long time. 11 years ago, before the 2010 elections, and later, when all attempts to establish ties with the EU collapsed. After each such appeal to Russia, Lukashenka gave something back. Then there were serious transfers to Russia, capacities in the field of energy systems.

Now these are loans that are taken to repay loans, Belarus is mired in debt,” Janelunas said.