ISSN 2330-717X

EU Lets Down Lithuania – OpEd

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Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko won’t be included on the EU sanctions list above all due to the position taken by Germany as well as by France, German and Italy.

Berlin, Paris, and Rome stated that “despite all circumstances, connection channels with Lukashenko should be kept open,” because, in their opinion, his blacklisting would lead to a complete suspension of dialogue with Minsk.

At the same time, the position of the EU is perceived controversial in the Baltic States, in particular in Lithuania.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius expressed his disappointment with the position of the leading EU countries in relation to the leadership of Belarus. The minister restrainedly tried to explain the lack of the drastic measures.

“The European Union is a large mechanism, and we also understand and sympathize that some colleagues have other irritants, let’s put it mildly. There is Syria, there is Libya, there is the Taliban, there is a pandemic. All this must be done. And there are refugees,”Linkevichus said.

He stressed that Europe had to give “meaningful and tangible” support to the Belarusian opposition, which itself had shown signs of internal division in recent days, by finding ways of funnelling money and help to the right people.

At the same time, the minister does not deny that the EU countries have an unified approach to the issue of military security in Europe, not excluding the possibility of unleashing military action by Belarus against Lithuania.

In addition, Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, believes that EU member states’ different positions on Belarus undermine the country’s chances of becoming democratic and do not contribute to regional stability.

“The different position of EU member states and a lack of common agreement undermine Belarus’ chances of becoming a democratic country one day and do not contribute to ensuring political stability in the region,” Karbauskis wrote, marking his post as political advertising.

Obviously, EU anticipates that Russia will be gradually strengthening its positions in Belarus. Therefore, the restraint is explained by the attempt to leave the last opportunity for a dialogue with Lukashenka to resolve the current political crisis in Belarus and not to fall into complete economic and political dependence on Moscow.