Four months after the start of mass protests in Belarus, a new survey shows that Belarusians are optimistic they will achieve regime change. The EU must make sure it’s ready for the transition when it comes.
President Lukashenko’s meeting with imprisoned opposition members could be consequential for Belarus. Meanwhile, the EU and especially Germany must keep diplomatic channels open to both Minsk and Moscow.
As the crisis intensifies in Belarus, how should the EU prepare to help the country transition politically?
The European Union and its member states should put maximum pressure on Russia to follow their example and not meddle with the internal affairs of Belarus. Let the Belarusians deal with their own situation.
The European Union’s commitment to democratic values are close to shatters as Cyprus and the European People’s Party contribute to keeping autocratic or corrupt leaders in power.
The coronavirus pandemic has revived demands for a human-centric approach to security. In Europe’s east, this means strengthening healthcare systems and building more resilient societies while managing threats such as geopolitical rivalries, conflicts in areas of limited statehood, and cyber warfare.
The people of Belarus are peacefully demonstrating for their freedom. The EU’s member states, along with the United States, should do much more to support them.
Angela Merkel, in her last stint as German chancellor, can still make a major difference for her country’s—and Europe’s—policy toward Belarus and Russia.
Because of Russia, the EU will choose to thread carefully in its reaction to the tumultuous events taking place in Belarus. Moscow will remain the decisive player as the United States stays on the sidelines.
The revolution taking place in Belarus on the European Union’s doorstep shows the enduring appeal of freedom, democracy, and courage. The reactions of the EU and Russia will test these aspirations.