Belarus Between Round Table and Rapid Reaction Force
Growing Fear of a Perilous Autumn, Lukashenko Seems Willing to Use any Means
A round table for
Since first becoming a political institution, the round table has symbolised the approach of bringing conflicting interest groups together to participate as equal partners in a dialogue and to identify solutions that all participants can support. Who would claim to seriously believe that this is truly Lukashenko’s goal?
Who would moderate such a dialogue, and who should take part? The Belarusian opposition, whose leading figures are in jail or have fled the country?
The air is getting thin up around Lukashenko, once an ordinary kolkhoz director. He began his battle for survival long since. Raging and ever less predictable, he has struck fear in the hearts of many, not least his own people. What might Lukashenko yet do in an attempt to control the simmering discontent and avoid economic ruin and the forced sale of assets?
Lukashenko’s motivation is revealed by his most recent proposal to create a rapid reaction force to prevent coups d’état within the CSTO, the post-Soviet military alliance. Although Lukashenko, unlike his close friend Gaddafi, does not yet have armed rebels to fear, there is a growing dread in
Nobody knows whether it will be a matter of weeks, months or even years before the Lukashenko era is a thing of the past. It feels, at least, as though we have already entered the aftermath of that period. The Belarusian opposition would be well advised to put old intrigues to rest and forge strong alliances. Only united will it succeed in creating new approaches and developing a serious alternative to the authoritarian social system in
However, we also seek the involvement of other important actors. Although the chairs for the Belarusian parliamentarians remained empty, members of the parliaments of the other Eastern Neighbourhood countries and of the European Parliament addressed the political situation in Belarus at the first working meeting of EURONEST on 14/15 September 2011.
We must, too, call on
Werner Schulz was born in 1950 in Zwickau. He studied food chemistry and technology at the Humbolt University, Berlin. In 1974 he became an assistant lecturer at the Humbolt but was dismissed without notice in 1980 for protesting about the Soviet Union’s invasion of