The likely consequences of the U.S. State Department decision on new visa restrictions

The U.S. imposed new visa sanctions against a wide range of Belarusian officials. What is the cause of such measures of the United States? What impact they may have on the political situation in Belarus? Whether the Belarusian authorities response?
Participants: teacher registered in Lithuania Euro Humanities Institute Denis Melyantsou and international columnist "Nasha Niva"Sergei Bogdan.
Why specifically at the moment, the U.S. imposed such sanctions?
Valery Karbalevich: "The United States in turn have a policy of pressure on the ruling regime to Belarusian padshturhovvannya it towards democratization. In 2004 was adopted Act on Democracy in Belarus, providing both economic and visa sanctions. In 2006, after the presidential election visa sanctions were extended.
And a last minute decision the U.S. State Department anticipates significantly greater visa restrictions Belarusian bureaucrats and even their spouses. What is the cause of such measures at the moment when it would seem, any political campaign in Belarus does not happen? And in connection with this decision — what conclusions can be made about the U.S. policy towards Belarus? "
Denis Melyantsou: "The United States expect a certain time, how will develop the internal political situation in Belarus after the presidential elections. Spring there was evidence that the regime is on some sort of de minimis liberalization. Currently the U.S. have seen that liberalization does not occur. And went on such a step.
Currently Belarus poses no danger to the safety or property for the U.S. and its allies. The United States is engaged at the moment neuvvyazkami terrorism Near East. And the Belarusian issue is somewhere in the 3rd row of values. U.S. gave this question Decision of Europe. "
Sergey Bogdan: "These sanctions are shrouded many mid-level officials. Couple thousand here and there will be, if considered spouses. I think there is an agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU). And at the moment is to play good cop, bad cop.’s U.S. introduced harsh sanctions. And EU bureaucrats are unofficial talks with Belarusian bureaucrats. "
Bogdan: "Nomenclature is not consolidated and steraryzavanaya"
Karbalevich: "How can the impact of these measures on the U.S. political situation in Belarus? According to the logic of these sanctions, must influence the behavior of the nomenclature, to seek from her work not with Lukashenko orders, and in accordance with the laws and rules of democracy. Yes, if it will help the democratization of Belarus? Or maybe, as some believe, will be working effect — bureaucracy necessarily skansaliduetstsa around Lukashenka? "
Melyantsou: "I think the result will not be any. Belarusian bureaucrats and so do not go to the United States. And if anyone has an urgent need arises, then theydo it, as Ms. Pyatkevich — through UN agencies. The effect can be psychic. If you pay attention to the replica Ms. Yarmoshina on this score, it is possible to conclude that the bureaucrats react painfully.
But then there dyzbalyans responsibility. If bureaucrats do something that is not like the U.S., they are threatened with a ban only on the arrival area of the United States. And if they oppose the U.S., it would mean more severe consequences.
When the EU lifted the trade preferences it and knocked regime. New U.S. visa restrictions such effects have not. It does not move the political situation in Belarus. "
Bogdan: "I think the impact will be all the same. Indeed, these sanctions covered a fairly wide range of people. And UN agencies they do not come to the U.S. posodeystvuyut.
Here it is not about abstract municipal interests when all suffer and how would not tolerate anybody. Refers to the personal interests of certain officials who, together with their spouses, deprive ability to enjoy them on the accumulated funds.
Canadian scientists have a concept, whereby authoritarian regime might be seen with 2-characteristics — scope and cohesion. So, here’s coverage of the Belarusian regime wide: it seeks to control every piece of terrain and every sphere of public life.
But he has no cohesion. Because there is no ideology, which would encourage the struggle for, relatively speaking, a bright future. And there is no sensory experience that would be grouped officials.
These sanctions do cohesion Belarusian officials lowest. Obviously this is not a critical blow to the Lukashenko regime. But this second, most important step after the abolition of EU trade preferences, which is a strong pressure on the regime. "
Karbalevich: "About a weak cohesion or kansalidavanastsi nomenclature around Lukashenko is debatable. Indeed, the recent political campaign in the country show that the cohesive bureaucracy, and gives the result, which asks him head of the country. There are no signs of cracks or at the split in its ranks."
Bogdan: "I can refer to outlook Lysyuk political scientist who said that the nomenclature is not consolidated and steraryzavanaya. Bureaucrats do not like the regime, but they are afraid of control and repression."
Whether the Belarusian authorities response?
Karbalevich: "The representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that measures will be taken in response? This ritual public relations gesture or intent of the Belarusian authorities harsh? What could be the measures?"
Melyantsou: "Diplomats are guided by the principle of reciprocity in accordance with the Vienna Convention. If one country imposes sanctions, the other country has the right to do the same steps in response.
But I think it will point and selective visa restrictions. Relations between Belarus and the U.S. is quite strenuous, but the two sides exchanged only diplomatically-rhetorical gestures. "
Karbalevich: "I wish to remind you how many years ago there was a scandal with a trip to the Belarusian delegation headed by Prime Minister Sidorsky Cuba. Then, the U.S. is not allowed to refuel the aircraft on its territory. Lukashenko publicly claimed to introduce similar sanctions in response. Infy But no such sanctions do not . Certainly, all limited-sounding statements. "
Bogdan "Likely, no response and will not be at the moment. You can recall the statement nedavneshnee Lukashenka to deal with South American companies in Belarus. But no real steps in this direction is made.
Belarus and the United States are very distant from each other country. In addition, there are economic interests. Belarus seeks increment shipments to the U.S. Steel products. Because you can hardly expect any constructive steps in response. "
Karbalevich "soon hear a lot of discussion about the ability of the normalization of relations with the West, the official Minsk. Dovzhanne But even increased political repression in Belarus is almost undermines that possibility. Moreover, the recent decision the U.S. State Department suggests that these cases even more acute."
• New restrictions on arrival in the U.S. Belarusian Officials, 7.08.2007

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