Shushkevich: Best sanctions are free visas
Former Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich supported the introduction of new U.S. sanctions against the Belarusian authorities.
"But there are other no less weighty sanctions than economic. I personally believe that the best sanctions would be the introduction of free visas to Europe for young Belarusians!" said the politician.
"If the country leading in the political and economic influence takes the act of democracy and human rights where Belarus is presented in an unfavorable angle, Belarus will only get worse then. And the further the worse. It's a pitty that our country’s leadership does not understand it. They think they’ll rule here forever. In addition, the United States defined their attitude to the Belarusian regime by this Act and gave an example to others what to do. I am very pleased that now both Europe and the U.S. act jointly - there will be no more chaotic policy towards Belarus that was in the beginning of this century from the part of Europe. Europe has begun listening to the U.S., which will evidently bring some results. Maybe not as fast as we would like it to be, but they are sure to be", he said, Euramost.org reports.
"Perhaps, the introduction of visa sanctions against Belarusian officials has little effect - they can’t be slippered. But at the same time, it’s a heavy moral blow. When you are not allowed in Europe because you're behaving indecently by the standards of civilized people is a lifelong stain on the reputation. It’s like a seal: "You are lackey!" It is good that these sanctions are imposed on the judiciary and prosecutors. And the number of toadies, undesired in Europe, will only increase. I think that the U.S. and Europe are working together effectively", said Stanislav Shushkevich.
Shushkevich: there’s no point in expecting the EU economic sanctions
At the same time, he stressed on no necessity to expect serious economic sanctions by the EU.
"Economic sanctions are a double-edged weapon. And, when imposing economic sanctions, one should be ready for certain financial losses. For example, Lithuania wants to adopt economic sanctions - it is sure to incur losses. However, if Europe is consolidated in this issue, the loss of Lithuania will not be as great as the loss of Belarus, but it is inevitable. And it will affect the budget and plans of economic development," he added.
"Now, advocates will scream that this is a sort of spit in the face of the whole Belarusian people. Adulatory corrupt journalism, propaganda - these are very primitive technics, which do not require that depth of science, needed for real journalism or propagandists of the new system, worthy of reform and so on. They will whine and wail in their usual tone. Well, let it be. Time will put everything in its place," summed up the politician.
On January 3, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the "Act on democracy and human rights in Belarus in 2011". This document extends the sanctions imposed on Belarus in 2004, informed in the White House.
Meanwhile, the United Civil Party leader Anatoli Lebedko and co-chair of the organizing committee of the party "Belarusian Christian Democracy" Vital Rymasheuski are of the opinion that the document, signed by the American president, can't be called sanctions.
Vital Rymasheuski is inclined to consider this document as a proof of the U.S. position with regard to official Minsk, but nothing more.