Ales Lahvinets: Calling for slapping sanctions is suicidal

The Kingdom of Netherlands may introduce sanctions against Belarus in case of continued human rights violations in our country. The Netherlands have not yet taken any firm stand on putting economic pressure on Minsk.

The EU member countries are about to decide on methods of work with the Belarusian regime together, the political analyst says. As the situation in the country is not tense, Brussels is unlikely to expand the sanctions.

According to the expert, at the same time, there is no sense waiting for the relax of sanctions policy: “If the regime makes a step forwards, eg some political prisoners are released, sanctions might be partially lifted, but mainly visa ones”. Apart from some limitations, no economic sanctions have ever been imposed on Belarus. [The sanctions] are sure to irritate the Belarusian authorities but they are in no condition to make them change their ways. “Having expectations of extending or easing sanctions is as unrealistic as hoping for Lukashenka’s voluntary resignation,” Ales Lahvinets said.

“The policy of sanctions would be feasible if all Belarusians stopped backing Lukashenka and relied on outside assistance,” he stressed. “Without popular support calling for slapping sanctions is akin to suicide,” Mr Lahvinets concluded.

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