Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Stanislau Shushkevich: West can deliver painful blow to Lukashenka if it wants


If democracy, freedom and human rights are priorities for the EU, the Union will find ways to influence Lukashenka.

First head of independent Belarus Stanislau Shushkevich talked to charter97.org and commented on Tomislav Nikolic's advice to the Belarusian leadership not to worry about the sanctions.

"In real case, an opinion of the Serbian president means nothing. But at the same time, the visa sanctions are shaky and almost don't influence Lukashenka and his cronies. Maybe it was the thought that Tomislav Nikolic said to the Belarusian ruler. The dictator obviously wants to Europe, but he is guided by instincts, while moral feelings are not typical of him," the politician noted.

He stressed serious financial resources are needed to impose economic sanctions.

"Implementing economic restrictions and bans on the dictator in practice is not cheap requiring going to the expense and allocating funds. The question is whether Europe is ready to pay to do good for Belarusians and bad for the dictator. Frankly speaking, I cannot give such advice. If the West thinks democracy, freedom and human rights are priorities, it will find a way to deliver a painful blow to Lukashenka's regime.

In this regard, I like America's approach. They imposed the sanctions that made Lukashenka groan. They US did the right thing: Americans chose a surgical strike instead of a shooting spree, slapped sanctions on particular persons, their businesses and bank accounts and achieved the desired result,"
Stanislau Shushkeivch said.

It should be reminded that president of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic advised the Belarusian leadership and the dictator personally not to worry about the EU visa restrictions.

He said it in Minsk during a meeting with chairman of the "council of the republic" Anatoly Rubinau.