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Directors-General of factories are speaking out against Lukashenko

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

Directors-General of factories are speaking out against Lukashenko one by one, recognizing the toxicity of their relationship with the regime. This has become a positive trend among them. The reason behind this shift is the sanctions, which, contrary to regime propaganda, are actually having a stimulating effect on the Belarusian economy.

The regime's attempts to defend the notion that sanctions have little impact on the Belarusian economy have been in vain. Both representatives of Belarusian society and directors of sensitive enterprises understand the opposite to be true. So, what do these directors think about Lukashenko's policies, and how are they fighting to have the sanctions lifted?

On March 2, 2022, sectoral sanctions were imposed, affecting large enterprises such as the Mostovdrev joint-stock company and the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant (BMP) joint-stock company. These restrictions have impacted various sources of income, including imports, purchases, transportation of Belarusian timber products, as well as ferrous metallurgy products, and the provision of services in specialized sectors.

Sergei Ososov, Director-General of Mostovdrev
Sergei Ososov, Director-General of Mostovdrev

The lifting of sanctions, which supposedly "stimulate the Belarusian economy," is advocated not only by lobbyists working for Lukashenko but also by lawyers who are attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to file lawsuits in court for the lifting of sanctions. Just last week, a decision was announced on one of these cases. On March 6, the Court of the European Union dismissed the claim from Mostovdrev and BMP and upheld the sectoral sanctions.

Sergey Ososov, the director-general of Mostovdrev, and Dmitry Korchik, the director-general of BMP, made almost identical demands and received similar decisions. The EU Court rejected their claims based on their merits.

Dmitry Korchik, Director-General of BMP
Dmitry Korchik, Director-General of BMP

The business leaders had two demands: the invalidation of the sectoral sanctions affecting their enterprises and the obligation for the EU to cover the costs incurred by the applicants.

However, special attention should be given to the arguments presented by these enterprises, namely:

"...The applicant claims that they have never had any connection with the Belarusian army, did not participate in the conflict in Ukraine, and did not benefit from it. The applicant asserts that they have nothing to do with the events in Ukraine or the Belarusian regime."

By making such statements, the management of Mostovdrev and BMP is effectively acknowledging their stance on supporting the Lukashenko regime, in other words, they recognize the existence of a regime in Belarus. The same applies to the issue of their lack of support for the war in Ukraine.

In response, the EU Court of Justice clearly and comprehensively explained in its decision that the reason for imposing sectoral sanctions is the Republic of Belarus's participation in Russia's unacceptable and illegal military aggression against Ukraine. Under international law, this qualifies as an act of aggression, and the European Union has the authority to impose restrictions on specific sectors of the economy if it deems it appropriate.

In refusing the demands put forth, the court stated that the statements made by representatives of these enterprises, claiming that their activities are not connected to the actions of the Belarusian government or army, are insufficient grounds for lifting the sanctions.

The Lukashenko regime actively supports the war against Ukraine, violating international law and the obligations outlined in the UN Charter. The purpose of these sectoral sanctions is to exert pressure on the Lukashenko regime, urging it to refrain from participating in aggression. They aim to maintain peace, prevent conflicts, and strengthen international security.

All sanctions, restrictions, and damage to the country's reputation are solely a consequence of Lukashenko's paranoid desire to cling to power, his willingness to commit further crimes, and his support for the war.



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