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Liquidation of Lukashenko's regime is the strongest sanction against Russia

Pavel Latushko in an interview to the German newspaper "Table Security"

How do you attract the attention of European politicians to Belarus?

I think our Western partners are wrong now. They are not sufficiently concerned about the role of the dictator Lukashenko and the geographical position of Belarus in relation to the development of Russia's war against Ukraine. This cannot solve the security problem for Europe as a whole.

Let's just imagine that in 2020, democratic forces won in Belarus. Could Putin then start a war against Ukraine? The chances of that would have been much less. Could we have expected a massive Russian army offensive against Kiev last February from the north from the territory of Belarus? No, it would have been impossible. Therefore, if our Western partners do not pay proper attention to the resolution of the internal political crisis in Belarus and the role of dictator Lukashenko in the war against Ukraine, it will make it difficult to resolve the overall situation. Of course, the Belarusians themselves are responsible for the changes in the country. But we also have expectations from the EU.

What do you miss?

We notice that in the West, the readiness to seize the opportunities that exist in relation to Lukashenko has significantly decreased. First of all, it is an accurate analysis of Lukashenko's role in the war against Ukraine and him as a threat to the security of the entire region. On this basis, a strategy of action should be developed with the participation of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus. To be honest, there isn’t any EU country today that has a strategy of action with respect to Belarus.

Wouldn't sanctions against Lukashenko push him even further into Putin's arms?

This assumption is a mistake. Sanctions will not make Lukashenko even more active in supporting Putin's war, because Lukashenko himself does not want Belarusian troops to invade Ukraine. Between 90 and 95 percent of the population of Belarus is against the war. Losses in Ukraine will lead to events in Belarus, which Lukashenko himself fears.

By the way, this also applies to Putin. For the same reason, he does not want Belarusian troops to interfere, because internal problems in Belarus mean problems for Russia as well. And Russia has enough problems of its own today. But, at the moment of concentration of Russia's strike force in Belarus, Lukashenko will do the will of the Kremlin.

At the moment, it looks like Lukashenko is back on the throne. Yes, because he lacks attention in Europe. He's taking advantage of it. There are no new sanctions on him for eight months. He's created schemes to circumvent the sanctions. Got money from Russia. No criminal prosecution.

He's preparing an army in case it's sent to war with Ukraine. He is helping the Russians train Russian troops in Belarus, making weapons for them, making money for them and smuggling goods under sanctions in Russia.

There have been rumors that Germany has stalled discussions about agreeing on sanctions against Belarus and Russia.

Yes, we heard that too. We are trying to convince our partners in Berlin that only very tough and active measures against Lukashenko will give hope and motivation to the people of Belarus. Lukashenko is waging a war against the Belarusians. A number of experts say there are more than 5,000 political prisoners in the country.

Are you disappointed in the actions of the EU?

My personal opinion does not matter. Poland and Lithuania actively support us. I also do not want to paint the situation black and white. The European Union has also taken steps. It is simply important for me to emphasize that Belarus had great hopes for the EU, and especially for Germany. A strategy of active actions is needed.

In your opinion, how would stronger sanctions against Belarus work?

Perhaps it is more appropriate to ask what is the strongest weapon against Russia? I can answer this unambiguously: the abolition of the Lukashenko regime. These would be the most effective sanctions against Moscow.

Is this realistic? Some say no. The only thing we can be sure of is that it would remain unrealistic unless systematic action is taken.



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