On February 11, The Washington Post editorial board passed their opinion on a growing threat to Belarus’ independence from the Kremlin. The West should provide support to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka if he continues standing for the country’s sovereignty, the authors believe.
According to the article, Vladimir Putin, who ‘spent much of his two decades in power attempting to restore Moscow’s rule over former republics of the Soviet Union’, has set his sights on Belarus. The Russian leader is reportedly arm-twisting Lukashenka to make him ‘finally implement a 20-year-old agreement that would merge the two countries, essentially turning Belarus into a province’. In particular, the Kremlin stopped the supplies of subsidized oil, which the neighbour’s economy is overly dependent on.
“Though he is anything but an attractive partner for the West, his attempt to save his country deserves support,” the WP editors stress.
The US media outlet recalls that the issue of petroleum deliveries from the United States was discussed during the recent visit of State Secretary Mike Pompeo to Belarus. However, even if the plan turns into reality, it will not solve the country’s problems, the journalists state. In their opinion, Lukashenka is caught between surrendering to Putin (or at least taking a step in this direction) and subjecting the economy to the ‘shock therapy that would be necessary to free it from Russia’.
“If he chooses the latter course, the United States and the EU should do what they can to ease the pain, while continuing to press for improvements in human rights,” the article reads.
belsat.eu. following The Washington Post