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political opponents

Belarus: Lukashenko’s two faces

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Released six political opponents a few months before elections. Lukashenko tries a timid rapprochement towards Brussels, but, fearing a repetition of Maidan, he has reinforced military alliance with Moscow.


President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has declared release of six political opponents, including Mykalai Statkevich, presidential candidate in 2010: “I did not think that Lukashenko would have had the courage to break free me before the election (on November 20, ed) – Statklevick said-. Maybe government has not more money to the prison. Now the situation is optimum for them. The opposition is in a stalemate. It can not disrupt the consultation and is not able to support even its own candidate. That’s why they let me go. ”

In addition to the charges about the difficult economic situation, these six opponents, as well as many activists, have always accused Lukashenkoto be too pro-Russia and to be too far from European Union.

The news was welcomed as “a big step forward,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini affirmed. While Italian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova said that this according could be an “improvement in relations between Belarus and the European Union is moving in the hoped for direction of human rights protections and civil liberties. “The liberation of these six prisoners”, Della Vedova observed, “meets the expectations that, both bilaterally and within the broader dialogue between the EU and Minsk, have been repeatedly demonstrated by the Belarus authorities”.

Considered Europe’s last dictator, Lukashenko, in office since 1994, has always moved their pieces based on political convenience of the moment. As in 1997, the year of the agreement, “Union State” with Russia. As today, with release of the six detainees like reconciliation towards Brussels, in order to reduce sanctions against Belarusian oligarchs decreed in 2004.

But also the Ukrainian issue exists. Beyond agreement between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France set out in the capital Minsk, Lukashenko is fearing for another Maidan 2 in his country, especially because all the European chancelleries have always marginalized him. Aware of this risk, he has reach, last August 19, a military agreement with Putin about the common space of short-range air defense.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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