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'Don't Let Belarus Become A New Fault Line'


Belarusian presidential candidate Yaraslau Ramanchuk campaigning on the Belarus-Poland border in November.

Belarusian presidential candidate Yaraslau Ramanchuk campaigning on the Belarus-Poland border in November.

Andrew Michta argues on the German Marshall Fund blog for following Poland's lead on Belarus, implementing a "two-track policy to put pressure on the Lukashenka regime, while also making a long-term investment in Belarusian democratic opposition."

Michta warns:

Belarus requires a unified response, for it is a piece of a larger Europe, whose periphery is now increasingly being defined by the aftermath of the 2008 Georgia War, the 2010 Ukrainian election, and the resurgence of Russian influence. It is in the interest of the West to develop a long-term strategy to prevent Belarus from becoming a new fault line.

And continues:

The [postelection] crisis requires a joint response from the United States and the European Union. We find ourselves in a moment of stark simplicity: the West needs to stand up for its core principles and meet Lukashenko’s brutality head-on. It should do so long-term, persistently and with ample resources to back up the effort. We need to leverage the Internet, peer social networks, programs run by NGOs and universities, as well as the entire gamut of traditional broadcast media in the United States and Europe to keep the "Belarus question" in focus.

-- Andy Heil
Hat tip: Global Europe

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