Opinion. «Reflection and Reaction» on Merkel’s call to Lukashenka

Illustration: Reflection and Reaction
3 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. «Рефлексия и реакция» о том, что Меркель позвонила Лукашенко
На беларускай мове: Меркаванне. «Рэфлексія і рэакцыя» пра размову Меркель з Лукашэнкам

The Telegram channel «Reflection and Reaction» published a post about Merkel’s call to Lukashenka and explained what it might mean. Here is the opinion unchanged.

It looks as if Europe has backed down. This opinion will be «sold» now by local state propaganda and partly by Russians. The situation is actually a little more complicated and elegant at the same time.

First, Merkel, in political parlance, is a lame duck. Germany will soon have a new chancellor. At the moment, Frau can spend her reputational capital without any risks to a political career that has actually ended. Such a call at another time would have hit the reputation of the politician hard. But Merkel with one foot is no longer a politician. Therefore, they decided to use her for negotiations with Lukashenka (or she decided herself).

What has it gotten? Putin asked the Europeans to «speak directly with Lukashenka», now the fact of the conversation was. If the situation doesn’t change after that (and it is unlikely to change radically, although it is the official Minsk that is allowed to save face with such a call), then Europe’s position in terms of pressure is strengthening.

Secondly, no one is going to lift the sanctions. That would really be a deflection, just as the EU is not going to let migrants in. This has been stated repeatedly at the level of the top leadership of the European Union. There will be no deflection here.

Thirdly, Merkel calls Minsk for the second time in the last two years. The first time the phone was not picked up (but now picked up impatiently). But what is common is that both times there were specifically people who were tortured. Then – with beatings, now– with cold. Humanity is a good reason to talk to anyone.

But from now on, no one will be able to say «you didn’t even deign to talk to Minsk for these people». Deigned. Then a step is up to Lukashenka, will he take this step without fear of appearing «bowing down»? It’s an interesting question, we’ll see in the coming days.

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