Opinion. Lev Lvovskiy responds to the opponents of sanctions

3 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. Лев Львовский отвечает противникам санкций
На беларускай мове: Меркаванне. Леў Львоўскі адказвае праціўнікам санкцый

Lev Lvovskiy, BEROC economist, wrote a post on his Facebook page, in which he responded to everyone who calls for the lifting of sanctions against the regime in Belarus. Here are his words unchanged.

I often meet the position «lift sanctions — they only kill the economy and push Lukashenka into the arms of Russia» recently. And it is broadcast by surprisingly different groups: Lukashists [Lukashenka’s supporters – ed] «a la Minsk dialogue», marginals «a la Zianon» and quite decent people «a la Matsukevich».

It seems to me that this opinion includes a number of logical errors and false assumptions.

The First

It assumes that the imposition of sanctions is led by the opposition. In practice, we see that, despite all its efforts, the EU and the United States were extremely reluctant to impose restrictions. Up to a certain point, constant statements of concern were interspersing with targeted measures against a narrow circle of people. The turning point was the hijacking of the Ryanair aircraft, which neither NAM nor Tsikhanouskaya’s headquarters could influence.

What we have in the end: the root cause of the introduction of any large-scale sanctions is always the actions of Lukashenka personally and his retinue.

Democratic governments respond to their citizens’ aspirations. If the latter are outraged by Lukashenka’s new trash, politicians take action. If you imagine that he releases political prisoners and sits down at the negotiating table, then no «evil» opposition figures will be able to beg for an ounce of sanctions — there will be nothing to react to.

The Second

This idea presents Alexander Lukashenko not as a subject, but as an object of politics. Like, he is a static figure that can not change. «He is what he is, and since sanctions are imposed on him, he will not adjust his behavior, and, like a weak-willed ping-pong ball, he will definitely roll towards Moscow».

Which is obviously not the case. Lukashenka is an experienced politician, almost a PhD in maneuvers and sitting on four chairs at the same time. He knows how to show his teeth to Moscow and smile at the West when it is profitable for him.

The Third

Adherents of this opinion don’t take into account Lukashenka’s ambitions. Being the dictator of a sovereign country and the governor of the North-Western Territory are significantly different positions.

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