Merkel’s likely successor supports new sanctions against Lukashenka

Olaf Scholz. Photo: Olaf Kosinsky / Wikimedia

On November 15, in light of the current situation with migrants on the border between Belarus and Poland, the German Chancellor candidate and current Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Alyaksandr Lukashenka a “dictator” who uses people in a “shameful game” to put pressure on the European Union.

“First of all, we need to be clear that we are talking about a bad dictator in Belarus. And there is no need to hide anything. He has lost all legitimacy,” said Scholz, reports Deutsche Welle.

The politician supports the expansion of the EU Council criteria for sanctions against the Belarusian authorities. In his opinion, this is the right answer to the actions of Belarus. Scholz added that reports about the first return flight with migrants and refugees seem to show that the decisive reaction of the European Community is already bearing fruit.

Olaf Scholz also spoke out in defense of Poland amid criticism over its strengthening of the border with Belarus.

“I think that if the Polish government makes such a decision, it’s not for us to say that it shouldn’t do it,” Scholz said.

He noted that it is too easy to condemn something from a distance without giving recipes on how to resolve the situation more effectively.

On the evening of November 15, it emerged that Alyaksandr Lukashenka and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had had a telephone conversation.

Lukashenka’s press service reports that they discussed several issues, including refugees on the Belarusian-Polish, Belarusian-Lithuanian, and Belarusian-Latvian borders.