EU has no power to influence Belarusian authorities
This is what the European political scientists think. They suggest struggling for hearts and souls of the Belarusians.
An international conference dedicated to Belarus took place on December 9-11 in Lazarski University in Warsaw. Issues of Belarus' relations with its neighbours, as well as Belarus' chances for Europeanisation, were discussed separately.
"I think that there are very few chances for Europeanisation of Belarusians. I'm not a pessimist, I am a realist. As Vital Silitski said, the relations between Belarus and Europe are the results of changing in the relations between Minsk and Moscow. And now Lukashenka behaves as Russia is his best friend ever", researcher of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Anais Marin shares her opinion.
The expert says that the EU has no common strategy on Belarus. On the one hand, the sanctions do not bring any effect, on the other hand - Europe does not support Belarus' participation in the Eastern Partnership enough.
Anais Marin: "For example, Belarus got 21 million euros in 2007-2010 - this is 10% of the sum received by Moldova. Ukraine got 500 million euros".
Anais Marin thinks that Europe should choose the third way, which is to help Belarus in everything, apart from Lukashenka, and to introduce the road map.
Besides, a new strategy of the European Union with regard to Belarus was presented on December 7 in Brussels. Political scientist Dzyanis Melyantsou has told Euroradio that there is nothing new about this strategy.
Dzyanis Melyantsou: "The European Union feels that it needs to stick to the low level of politics, which is cooperation with the society, in view of lack of means of influence over the Belarusian authorities and the political situation in Belarus. It is necessary to change the society so it would change the political regime eventually".
According to Dzyanis Melyantsou, the European Union is ready to help Belarus only when there are democratic and economic reforms in the country. However, no reforms are expected during Belarus' joining the Eurasian Union.
Dzyanis Melyantsou: "This is a realistic approach, whatever badly it may be perceived. It will be better if Brussels comprehends the real situation than has illusions, which would lead to nothing apart more disappointments".
Meanwhile, expert of the Lithuanian Center for Eastern European Studies Vitis Jurkonis says that Europe lost Belarus at all.
Vitis Jurkonis: "I think that Europe lost Belarus as it received subsidies from Russia again, there are plans on NPP construction etc. We cannot get away with the Russian factor in Lithuania - how can we expect liberation of Belarus? The only thing we can do is struggling for the souls and hearts of people - Belarusians."
The Lithuanian expert is convinced that Europe should take concrete steps already in spring, when there is the presidential election in Russia, in order to change something in Belarus. Before this, they need unity, planning and persistence.