European Union before the call to the Belarusian-Russian conflict


Drakakhrust: In the whirlwind of the Belarus-Russia conflict: the hard collision gas and the current information war, "Bateko godfathers" and accusations of lying presidents — as a focus in the background was another player — the European Union.

But it is possible and logical. Here's how to see and present position of Europe in the conflict and its future German political scientist Alexander Rahr.

European Union in this situation can only wait

Rahr: The European Union in this situation can only wait to see how the situation will develop between Minsk and Moscow in the future. I personally believe that we are dealing with personal conflict between Lukashenko and Putin Medvedev m. I believe that Russia expected from Lukashenko moves closer approximation to the creation of a unitary state. Lukashenko against it and therefore Russia talks to him tough language, the same language, which is spoken with him the United States of America.

We must have patience and try to develop all possible forms of cooperation in the framework of the Eastern Partnership, which represents many opportunities Belarus. fast or slow, but a pragmatic move towards the European Union. I think that the European Union will examine, analyze the conflict between Minsk and Moscow, but to deepen it, intermeddle in it will not be. In the EU, not in this geopolitical interests. At the same time, the EU hopes that energy security, on which we depend for our well-being in Europe in the field of energy, has not been compromised.

From this perspective, the EU will offer Belarus a form of cooperation, which was once West Germany offered to the Soviet Union. The point of it — through trade and the economy to try to make political changes in Belarus. Such tactics, I think the EU will be selected. I think it will lead to more concrete results, and will help the development of bilateral relations better than swinging a club.

Drakakhrust: Is the European Union in this situation can only wait? After all, the situation is unique. For years, said that the Belarusian regime is held each Russian subsidies and political support of the Kremlin. And that's something subsidies are reduced, and the current information war well, I do not call support. And the European Union can only wait? Is it? Sergei, what do you think?

In the West, established consensus — until Lukashenko will not change, this is an acceptable temporary alternative to ordering Belarus

Bogdan: Is it just waiting for the EU and the EU have only waiting for? I would not only reduce the West's position to the position of the European Union. In the West, established consensus — until Lukashenko will not change, this is an acceptable temporary alternative to ordering Belarus. A clear indication that consensus — that Alexander Milinkevich, is not likely to act in this election, because, as they say in opposition circles, money for his campaign in the West, it is not found. It is the best gift for Lukashenko, removed one of the most important opponents of the authorities in this election.

So I would not say that there is just waiting. And besides, that established a consensus that it shall be for Lukashenko, the opposition has a problem with the support of the West and is actively seeking support from Russia. The opposition voiced by many of the ideas that Moscow wants to hear, and is conducted in many of Russia's steps.

For the West, now is really important idea, which was mentioned by Mr. Rahr — Belarusian policy change through trade and the economy. And this is a viable option for most Lukashenko. After all, he does not refuse to change. If we look at the political history of his regime from the beginning, we see that Lukashenko really flexible to complete opportunism.

Drakakhrust: Wojciech whether you agree with these interpretations? This policy — blurring, razmyagchenne regime through trade and cooperation, designed for years and even decades. If our colleagues are right, it turns out that the current response due to the current challenge to the EU is not there. Perhaps the wait would be successful in politics, if the European Union and in the midst of the Belarusian-Russian conflict simply continued the policy, which showed off the previous period. But what about this result, there is some doubt. "Honeymoon" of relations between the EU and Belarus was in the past. According to many policy of dialogue and engagement of the official Minsk has reached a deadlock. Striking manifestations of this impasse was the conflict around the disgraced Union of Poles in Belarus and elegant as always the results of local elections in Belarus. How fruitful looks in the new environment loyalty impasse? Is not it a dead end, and the right one, just a long way?

The experience of the "orange revolution" in Ukraine showed that the EU can-engaged in rapid change, but if the company is not responsible politicians, the results of these changes would not survive

Boroditš-Smolinsky: One can agree with the words of the masters Rara and Bogdan. But we must remember what the default target was the initiative "Eastern Partnership" — to bring the six post-Soviet countries to the EU is not a democracy and reform, through the economy and trade. The EU clearly will have to wait, because he does not have the mechanisms to accelerate or stop the changes. EU got experience during the "orange revolution" in Ukraine, which showed that we can Compromised in rapid change, but if the company is not responsible politicians, the results of these changes for a long time did not hold.

The EU knows that Alexander Milinkevich and the other candidates do not have a lot of support from the community. Also knows that the rating falls and Alexander Lukashenko. But also know that there is no alternative.

Therefore, it was decided, of course informal, focusing on trade and on entering the European standards in Belarus to promote change.

: Watching Now for the rapid deterioration of relations between the official Minsk and Europe, it was hard to get rid of the idea that the Belarusian side is hard chopping bitches, or at least one of the branches on which it sits. Proponent kanspiralegii might think, do not push the Russians carefully Lukashenko on the path of conflict with Europe, to deprive him of his freedom of maneuver in the event of a possible conflict with Moscow. And this possibility became a reality and who can balance Lukashenko Russian pressure? Relations with Europe in advance "prudent" spoiled.

Or the ability to maneuver is stored and broken pots can still be glued together? Can now Lukashenko to resume dialogue, something Europe has to offer? Can Europe offer something Lukashenko? And can offer nothing, but just to throw protect him from the "Russian imperialism" and the threat of takeover Belarus Russia?

The European Union will not be any secret agreement with Moscow on Belarus, as well as with Belarus vs. Russia

Rahr: All the cards are in the hands of Alexander Lukashenko and his entourage. No need to compare the situation in Belarus and the situation in South Ossetia and Transnistria. The current conflict between Minsk and Moscow did not lead to any kind of military threat. While this is a war
of words and nothing more. I think that the EU is well understood. There will be no secret agreement with Moscow on Belarus, as well as with Belarus vs. Russia. Everyone will see that Lukashenko will do.

Of course, that will put pressure on him. Lukashenko has to open his country. He has not decided who he wants to work and where he wants to orient Belarus. If towards the EU. then you need the best interests of Western investors need to change the law, it is necessary to invite foreign investors to greater participation in privatization, it is necessary to give them some security, create a solid foundation for the functioning of Western businesses, especially medium-sized businesses in Belarus. I think that it is easy to make, it requires only political will.

But Belarus has not yet decided whether she wants to go out of the state union with Russia. In fact, it it still exists, at least in military terms, Belarus is widely regarded as the closest, maybe even the only ally of Russia. While these relationships are not destroyed. Belarus does not come out of the CIS and the CSTO. did not abandon the union state. Talk about the fact that Belarus should quickly take the European Union to save from Russia — this is speculation and geopolitical ambitions of persuasion. This can be said about politicians, but not the responsible politicians from both parties.

Drakakhrust: Apriori speaking, there is another twist in European politics, although Mr. Rahr and finds it impossible. I recall that during the election campaign in Poland, in the debate between Bronislaw Komorowski and Jaroslaw Kaczynski has been affected Belarusian topic. And, then if the policy changed ideological roles: conservative Kaczynski hinted that the policy of Warsaw in some aspects should be coordinated with Moscow, and the liberal Komorowski strongly objected to this policy. But the campaign rhetoric of presidential candidate does not always coincide with the real head of state politics.

Is it possible in the current situation, some harmonization of policies of Moscow and the European Union towards Belarus? Earlier, Moscow was in fact a guarantor status quo in Belarus and Europe sought to change, albeit with a little enthusiasm. Now appears to be seeking changes in Belarus and the East and the West. Similar or different? There was a situation of "zero-sum game"? Wojciech

Russia has no candidate to replace Lukashenko, she knows that it can change to bring her more losses than gains

Boroditš-Smolinsky: First, you must determine which goals are the European Union and Russia. Or they want to change Alexander Lukashenko on the other, or they want to keep the current head of state, believing that he will change. Of course, the Belarusians will choose, but there is never certainty in an honest vote count.

I think that Russia does not want to change the head of state, she wants the current head of Belarus was a good neighbor, Russia, that is, to agree to all the conditions in Russia that before the Customs Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia that gave Bishkek, Bakiyev. Russia has no candidate to replace Lukashenko, she knows that it can change to bring her more losses than gains.

It is possible that Lukashenko is a way out of this situation, he refers to the good political relations with China and Venezuela. But if you look at the economic factors, the situation is somewhat different. A few days ago the Ministry of Statistics and the National Bank of Belarus announced data on foreign investment. More than 70% of these investments — from Russia. European investments make up a small part of it. It shows the real economic situation Lukashenko, shows where the money comes from.

Drakakhrust: A new rapprochement between Belarus and the EU, as kontrbalyans Russian pressure, breathing new "Eastern Partnership" — how likely is it you?

All proposals that Brussels could do made

Boroditš-Smolinsky: Brussels no new proposals will not do. All proposals that Brussels could do made, they are within the "Eastern Partnership" and within these borders Belarus to move.
Of course, if Europe finds that the pressure on Russia and Belarus too hard by European standards unresolved, Europe may say that she does not like it. But I do not think it will be a more dynamic EU policy towards Belarus.

DrakakhrustSergey, Wojciech said that in determining the policy should understand what he wants, which is seeking its new Russian policy towards Belarus. It is certainly important, but more important is the presence of most of the conflict. At the time when the Soviet Union fell foul of Tito's Yugoslavia and maoistskim China, western, primarily American, diplomacy has used the fact of the conflict, it is in this game, it has expanded its capabilities.

Balance between Europe and Russia, and less fine options such as regional ties — it's a secret saving mode

Bogdan: At the core of the stability of the Lukashenko regime is such a factor as the balance between the East and the West. Lukashenko would not want to switch to one of the parties. Balance between Europe and Russia, and less fine options such as regional connections — this is the secret of preserving the regime. Now his regime is not the same like the East and West, though for different reasons. Therefore, any excessive orientation on one side of a problem occurs. The fact that the regime is incompatible with models that are considered acceptable in Moscow and Brussels. Too strong roll is regime change, which entails a loss of power. He just can not afford to enter into Europe at normal conditions.

I think the country will be able to achieve better relations with the EU, but it will be perceived as a country on the border of Europe, but not as part of Europe, but quite friendly, stable, that is not a problem. This is acceptable in principle and for Lukashenko and Europe. After all, no matter what we say, for most Europeans, except in Eastern Europe, Belarus — this is not Europe.

Lukashenko's regime last year was able to trade with Europe, within which issues of democracy and human rights have been pushed aside, and the main issue was the geopolitical loyalty, even if minimal. This position is understandable, because the European Union the main thing — do not have a problem on its borders.

Drakakhrust: And the practical question — in October, the EU Council must decide what to do with visa sanctions against Belarusian leaders who are suspended, but not canceled. Abolish? Restore their action? Continue the suspension? Here are forecast Alexander Rahr.

Rahr: If the U.S. and the EU will come to the conclusion that Lukashenko is not going to hold democratic elections, which he wants by force to preserve their power — that will be a tougher approach. If the mission of the OSCE, the European observers will see that there are positive signs that the opposition parties have access to the media and to the money, and if there is the prospect of a more democratic elections than they have been in past years, the tougher sanctions will not. So it is too early to draw conclusions, we have to wait what will happen in the next 3 months.

Drakakhrust: Sergey, Wojciech, and what is your assessment — which of the three ways to choose the October crossroads euroallied knight? Sergei

For many today, including in Europe, Belarus — is torn off part of Russia

Bogdan: I think that will continue freezing. I would like to emphasize that the rejection of the overthrow of the regime as a goal — it's a very important point. This is a disruptive factor,
removed one of the major headaches. True, there is still such a pain, as Russia's policy towards Belarus.

But wait, that the EU becomes too loud support of Minsk is also not necessary. EU officials responsible for policy towards Belarus, understand that the Belarusian-Russian relations — is not just inter-state relations, where there are economic and political components, and it is a lot of historical, santymentalnyh in the end Russia's imperial ambitions. Any EU move too sonorous for these relationships can create big problems in its relations with Russia. Russia considers Belarus as a unique ally and as we did not want, but for many today, including in Europe, Belarus — is torn off part of Russia.

So it will not be a high-profile initiatives, but the breakthrough steps already taken place. You, Yuri, talk about the deterioration of relations with the EU. Yes, it is, in part deliberately to keep the balance, more precisely, to find a new balance, since the previous balance becomes too dangerous for the Belarusian regime. Need a new ekvilibryyum, it is necessary to change the weight on the opposite ends of the scale.

I do not think the relations between Belarus and the EU will be frozen, it will not be the kind of relationship that were three or four ofyes because.

Do not think for Belarus will be introduced some sanctions. The EU certainly favors over the fact that he does not like some of the decisions of the Belarusian authorities, but sanctions will not. I do not think the relations between Belarus and the EU will be frozen, it will not be such a relationship that was three or four years ago.

I can not agree with the opinion of Mr. Bogdan that for some Europeans Belarus — is torn off part of Russia. Map of Europe is fixed, there would be no change and no one in Europe will not be adapted. People in Europe think that Belarus — is a separate state, unfortunately, is very attached to Russia and is very dependent on Russia. Nevertheless, it is an independent state.

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