Will the West and Ukraine help with the isolation and de-occupation of Belarus?
The United Transitional Cabinet (UTC/АПК) continues to successfully represent Belarusian interests at international level, furthering its strategic goals of preserving the independence of Belarus, removing occupying Russian troops, and replacing the Lukashenka puppet regime. In turn, at least rhetorically, the West and Ukraine declare readiness to support the committee in achieving these goals by isolating the Belarusian regime and bringing it to justice.
The Cabinet announced that its immediate priorities are to preserve Belarusian independence, end Russian occupation, and gain recognition of Belarus as an occupied country. This would enable de jure recognition of alternative authorities, the creation of armed forces abroad and a national liberation movement. In the interim, the Cabinet aims to end the occupation peacefully through pressure on the regime via economic sanctions and a strategy of internal pressure based on the Pieramoha plan and other initiatives within Belarus.
These priorities were the main topic of discussion between the Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Western partners, and Ukraine at recent international and bilateral events, including the NATO Council of Foreign Ministers in Romania, a meeting with Romanian parliamentarians, a meeting of the Munich Security Conference in Bucharest, and the Council of Foreign Ministers in Lodz, Poland. Specific demands include:
- the creation of an international tribunal to try Putin and Lukashenka;
- a clear distinction between the Lukashenka regime and the Belarusian people,
- support for initiatives aimed at strengthening independence and Belarusian national identity;
- recognising the Lukashenka regime as a sponsor of terrorism and extending sanctions to employees of the state propaganda media, the KGB and security services.
- expand visa issuance for Belarusians.
- no recognition of treaties and agreements signed by Lukashenka that undermine Belarusian sovereignty.
- Initiate investigative actions against the regime for crimes against opponents and supporting the war in Ukraine.
- establish contacts with the United Transitional Cabinet.
- seek access to political prisoners.
- demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Belarusian territory;
- support the restart of the Moscow Mechanism against the Lukashenka regime.
Most of these proposals were endorsed by Western partners, and the statement following the NATO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Bucharest reiterated that NATO condemns everyone, including Belarus, who actively supports Russian aggression and focused on criminal responsibility.
Meanwhile, at the OSCE, the United States seeks to link Russia and Belarus as co-belligerents and bring the culprits to justice for war crimes and human rights violations. The OSCE and the UN do not have a mechanism for excluding member states, so the United States focuses on isolating Russia and Belarus. German Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tobias Lindner, rejected the possibility of resuming dialogue with the Lukashenka regime as the European Union prepares a new round of sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which may be aimed at the remaining members of Lukashenka’s entourage. However, it is unlikely that his youngest son, Mikalai Lukashenka, will be targeted.
The UTC is paying particular attention to relations with Ukraine, proposing the extension of the “Lublin Triangle” (Lithuania-Poland-Ukraine) to include democratic Belarus as a “Lublin Four” and stating “[we are] cooperating with the Ukrainian authorities to solve practical issues, such as information exchange, coordination of actions to combat propaganda, solving problems faced by Belarusians in Ukraine during the war, and the organisation and material provisioning of joint Belarusian units within the Ukrainian army.
Belarus, under the control of the imperialist Kremlin, will constitute an ongoing threat to a free Ukraine. Without the liberation of Belarus, Ukraine will remain under threat from imperial revanchism. Only a democratic Belarus can give security guarantees to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian regime took advantage of the OSCE summit to criticise the West and urge it to abandon confrontation and “put out the fire in Europe”. In response, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland noted that the fire could be extinguished immediately if Russia ceased its vicious war against Ukraine and Belarus stopped enabling attacks.
However, judging by numerous visits by Russian military officials and new regional security agreements, the Belarusian regime has no intention of ceasing to provide a springboard for Russian military aggression against Ukraine. In such circumstances, further isolation by the West is inevitable, and combat operations by the Belarusian army as part of the Regional Group of Forces will clearly make the liberation of Belarus a strategic priority not only for the UTC but also for Ukraine and its Western allies.
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Situation in Belarus