Russia is likely to have the worst-case scenario in store for Belarus, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the 12th Secretary General of NATO (2009 – 2014) said in an interview with Ukrainian media outlet Liga.net.
“The key risk is the repetition of the Ukrainian scenario that includes war and annexation in Belarus. If the country fails to start reforms, it will face such a scenario. I would advise Belarus to introduce reforms leading to democracy and freedom,” he said.
According to him, only democracy and freedom will secure Belarus from Russian aggression.
“We remember the statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin; he said that Belarus should become part of ‘the great Russian power’, as well as the Crimean peninsula. “And I would like Belarus to get more assistance from the West. But we need to see Belarus’ switch to freedom and democracy,” Rasmusses, who is currently an advisor to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, stressed.
However, he is a bit sceptical about Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s intention to take on reform and perform a policy U-turn.
“Yes, he does not want to do that. But Lukashenka also does not want to live under Putin’s pressure. He needs to choose between reforming and Russians’ tightening grip,” he added.