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14.01.2014

German analyst: Eastern Partnership poses threat of losing power to Lukashenka regime 19

16:24, — Politics

German analyst: Eastern Partnership poses threat of losing power to Lukashenka regime

Belarus will not participate in the Eastern Partnership initiative under the dictator's rule.

The countries like Belarus are not interested in the EU's initiative Eastern Partnership, because it poses a threat of losing power to the current authorities, thinks Volker Perthes, the director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

The German analysts said in an interview with charter97.org during the Snow Meeting in Trakai (Lithuania) that the initiative was a proposal on modernisation to change the balance of forces in the country. But the Belarusian elite is not ready for it.

What do you think about the situation in Belarus? It hasn't been changing for almost two decades. As for the Eastern Partnership, Belarus doesn't demonstrate much optimism about it

The countries like Belarus are not interested in the Eastern Partnership, of course. The Eastern Partnership is actually a proposal on modernisation, structural modernisation that will really change or lead to changes in the balance of political forces in these countries. But, for example, the Belarusian and Ukrainian elites, are not ready for this proposal.

They know the initiative is economically favourable for them in the sense of economic ties with Europe. At the same time, they are rather clever to understand: the programme will undermine their power if they get involved in it. So, they are not interested in the Eastern Partnership.

I am very sceptical that Belarus will become an active and reliable participant of the Eastern Partnership as long as Mr Lukashenka is the president.

Should a dialogue with the regime be continued, as Europe does it?

Belarus is a country with society and civil society that we need to reach. There's a young generation. There are many Belarusian students in Germany. I know that there are many of them in Lithuania too. This is the future generation.

Belarus will be different in some sense. The young generation has certain expectations. In a certain sense they are more oriented to Europe than to moving further on the post-Soviet path, where Belarus is now.

Let's build on this foundation, let's not ignore the young generation and build relations with civil society and have strategic patience before giving up Belarus as a country.


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