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July 1 – July 7, 2024
Society and political parties

Calibration of Positions: Sanctions on the Regime and Mobility for Belarusians

The situation got worse
Calibration of Positions: Sanctions on the Regime and Mobility for Belarusians
photo: elements.envato.com

Proponents of the sanctions approach are adjusting their communication with the West, with politicians forced to focus on maintaining mobility for Belarusians. This shift is due to public dissatisfaction with the growing restrictions. Additionally, the negativity is linked to the failure of democratic forces to effectively communicate their sanctions policy to broad sections of society.

The leader of the National Anti-Crisis Management (NAM) and deputy head of the United Transitional Cabinet (UTC), Pavel Latushka, discussed with the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs the expansion of visa quotas for Belarusians, the functioning of border crossings for Belarusian citizens to enter the EU, and the closure of trade crossings for the Lukashenka regime.

Sanctions remain popular among democratic movement activists. However, the general population, including some supporters of change, view the restrictions negatively. At times, sanctions complicate the lives of specific societal groups who are unlikely to be regime sympathizers.

Democratic forces and independent media have not formed a consensus among their supporters regarding sanctions. The public does not understand the dual position of the democratic forces: sanctions for the regime and support for civil society. Propaganda exploits this to discredit political organizations.

Moreover, the influence of independent media on the agenda is diminishing. This is due to regime repression, the depoliticization of society, and significantly fewer resources compared to state media. Some Belarusian editorial offices are at risk of closure or reduced activity, such as Belsat.

Democratic forces hope for UN leadership communication with Lukashenka regarding the release of political prisoners. This does not indicate a change in approach among isolation advocates. However, some human rights activists believe it is necessary to negotiate with the ruling class, involving a wide range of authoritative intermediaries.

Thus, democratic forces risk gradually losing influence over the formation of Western policy towards the Lukashenka regime.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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