A.Moshas: Moscow will try to put the squeeze right now Lukashenko

Why the EU can give up the economic isolation of Belarus, at which point Russia would "defraud" Lukashenko as Europe and save face? This is "Tomorrow your country"
said political scientist and head of the "Russia — EU" of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Arkady Moshas.

Reporter: The main issue of the last days: Europe or impose economic sanctions against Belarus?

Moshas: I find it difficult to answer this question, but I would not jump with a positive response. EU generally difficult and is reluctant to economic sanctions. They usually do not bring the desired effect, causing damage to countries that border with Belarus, part of which is not in such economic times to afford the loss of trade, even if small. In the EU, will also take into consideration the interest in the potential of the new scheme of transporting energy, in which Belarus could play a central role.
That's why I'm not sure that the EU will go to economic sanctions. And it will all be done under the familiar slogan that isolating the regime, it is impossible to isolate the country.

Reporter: That is, pragmatism will win in the end?

Moshas: I think so. But I would not call it pragmatism. Rather, it is the experience of previous EU attempts to impose any economic sanctions. As is known, such steps are generally not work.

Reporter: On the eastern front in Belarus, too restless now: oil practically does not arrive, a new conflict is brewing. But will it be some incentive for the Belarusian regime concessions to the EU?

Moshas: So Mr. Lukashenko has never renounced the desire to improve relations with the EU! But on its own terms. On the conditions for the recognition of its sovereign ruler of Belarus. It is quite clear that any Russian-Belarusian temporary truce. Just at this time it was even shorter than I thought. People who do Belarusian politics in Moscow, based on the fact that the Belarusian-evrapeeyskiya relations deteriorated, so if defraud mode, it has to happen right now.

eople who do Belarusian politics in Moscow, based on the fact that the Belarusian-evrapeeyskiya relations deteriorated, so if defraud mode, it has to happen right now

Belarusian authorities are interested in maintaining economic interaction channels, and can not afford to ignore the suggestions of other opportunities for cooperation due to the complexities of the economic situation. They for their part will do much. And I do not exclude that in 2-3 months the situation will return almost to the status quo.

Reporter: And what will it take?

: Only one thing — the release of political prisoners unconditionally. More for this nothing.

And whether the EU will seek to fully meet this requirement, or to be content with small concessions by the Belarusian authorities?

I think that the EU will seek the release of all political prisoners. He achieved it the last time in 2006, which was personified in the figure of Alexander Kozulin. These requirements will remain the principal. In the sense that they are not forgotten.

Reporter: But in what ways the EU is going to do it, if not economic sanctions?

: Actually intrigue lies in whether the EU insist on the release of political prisoners and the return to the situation before December 19 as a condition of any interaction with the regime, or he would negotiate for the release of political prisoners, promising to some gingerbread and combining carrots and sticks . The answer to this question I do not have. But I think from the point of view of saving face the EU's foreign policy would be advantageous to be firm, at least for the next few months, and insist on the release of political prisoners as a condition for returning to the negotiating table.

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