Finlandization of Belarus. II. Everything is More Optimistic Provided that Democratic Neighbours do not Turn their Backs

In Part one regarding Belarussian compromise, which may be the version of Finlandization, not very promising circumstances have been laid down. Once you limit yourself just to circumstances, the picture of the situation would…

In Part one regarding Belarussian compromise, which may be the version of Finlandization, not very promising circumstances have been laid down. Once you limit yourself just to circumstances, the picture of the situation would be just one-sided, thus partial, which is not acceptable, thus we will try to supplement it here.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis made a debut on 15 December in his conversation with the Polish colleague Zbigniew Rau on matters of Belarus – Ministers agreed to concentrate on its civil society, Lithuania and Poland will support determination of the society to take the path towards democracy.
Previously, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius in the Council of Foreign Affairs of the European Union (EU) expressed his support for the resolution of the European Parliament (EP) of 26 November, that instigated the EU to take specific steps investigating crimes of Alexander Lukashenko regime. Before that, on 21 November the leader of Belarusian opposition Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Blok announced the procedure for classifying power structures that violently supressed protests in his country (such as special militia unit OMON, which was called a gang by the politician) as extreme and terrorist organizations.
It seems that Belarusians found a method that slightly control representatives of power structures (at least making them listen) – the telegram TV channel on 28 September announced details about thousands of officers from special forces that violently suppressed protests in Gomel. This was followed by some other exposures and it became the practice of protests.
According to the data of 7 December 689 permits were issued to citizens of Belarus to arrive in Lithuania for special humanitarian purposes. Such permits are being issued not only in Lithuania (also in Poland, Latvia, and Ukraine) for those, who experienced repressions and persecutions of Alexander Lukashenko regime. One of those, who manged to flee from legal persecutions, was the computer designer Anton Lukashuk, who on 21 November put on handcuffs and was kneeling at the Embassy of Belarus in Kiev in solidarity of suffering compatriots and trying to draw the attention of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky about a drastic situation in his country in order to simplify conditions for Belarusians to reside in Ukraine.
Head of the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Archbishop Sviataslaŭ Lohin during the Mass at the Cathedral of Cyril of Turov in Toronto (Canada) on 22 November read an address, where he announced the anathema (excommunication, damnation) to Alexander Lukashenko. The priest called the dictator a former President of Belarus, pretender, killer, and torturer of the devoted Belarusian nation. Before that on 19 November the Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus officially warned priests of the most numerous religious communities, Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church Yuryj Kasabucky and press secretary of the Belarus Orthodox Church, Associate professor of Minsk Theological Academy Archbishop Sergej Lepin regarding his critical speeches about Minsk regime.
Now something not just about symbolic gestures and plans dedicated to the civil society of Belarus.
Countries of the new geopolitical structure Lublin Triangle (member-states of the EU such as Poland, Lithuania let’s hope Ukraine that still is not a member of the Community) on the initiative of Kiev suggested cooperation to Minsk by having a dialogue with protesting citizens and heard only silence instead of a response. After that Lublin Triangle now is suggesting a more neutral mediators – Albania that is the Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of Sweden that will take over the Chair from Albania, which both agree to take an obligation of this role. However, instead of the answer – silence, too.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba (27 September) Alexander Lukashenko made a geopolitical decision and chose Russia, which means confrontation. In this case Ukraine is weighing the risks and forms the algorithm of its behaviour. Kiev will follow its national interests and will continue a strict and specific policy of Minsk regime, however not in regard to Belarusians, the Belarusian nation has always been and is close to Ukrainians, thus they will help it as much as possible.
Most countries to the West from Belarus follow a similar approach to behave with integrity and act so (more precisely, most of them with maybe one exception – Hungary).
Poland, Lithuania, and Romania on 21 September offered a visa-free travel regime to Belarusians in case of the victory of democratic forces of the EU, access to European credits, support in reorganization of the energy sector and joining the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the statement announced by three countries obligation of the EU as the global economic power is to prepare a package of support to Belarus that is fighting for democratic reforms.
In turn, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda declared that the Belarusian business should have a facilitated access to the EU single market and that Europe has to prepare for the period ‘after Alexander Lukashenko”.
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki in the EU Summit held on 1 October offered an Economic Plan to Democratic Belarus on behalf of Vishegrad Four that unite the states of the Central Europe (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Chechia). The government of Poland called it Marshal’s Plan to Belarus (a plan suggested by the U.S. General and politician George Marshal after World War II helped the devastated Europe to rise and the General won the Nobel Prize for that in 1953).
The Belarussian version of the Marshal Plan provides for establishment of the Stabilization Fund for Belarus, which could collect at least one billion of euros with assistance of the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European investments. This billion might be used for investments to the infrastructure of Belarus, because the economy of this country needs universal reforms and also support to small and medium-sized enterprises. According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Marcin Przydach, his country is ready to talk to Minsk regarding supply of oil and natural gas.
According to the Polish economist Janusz Wdzięczak, such a support would not be a heavy burden to the EU. The gross domestic product (GDP) of Belarus is equal to the GEC of Masovian Voivodership in Poland, thus it would cost as much as support to one region of Poland to the Community.
Initiators of the plan offer to approve the Priority Partnership agreement with Belarus, therefore there were negotiations for some time, however they did not manage to agree with the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The Economic Plan for Democratic Belarus generalizes that now it is the chance to the society of Belarus to make a stride towards freedom and democracy and united Europe may help to make this stride if it grants a billion and a half not just like a credit as Vladimir Putin did but a systematic support for reforms.
Kiev Security Forum held on 5 November discussed about the Marshall Plan already on a wider scale of the whole Eastern Europe (the most important in Ukraine that has been held since 2007). Director of the Forum, Head of the government of Ukraine in 2014-2016 Arseniy Yatsenyuk during the virtual conference among Kiev, Washington and Los Angeles emphasized that the United States and Europe had to demonstrate leadership in the world after presidential election; to this end the new Office of the White House should establish a high-level mission in order to help Eastern Europe and in particular, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia in their way to democracy, EU and NATO.
As we can see, there are plenty of talks and topics about the future of Belarus. Actually, the condition for assistance of Europe and the West is mandatory – free and respectable presidential election. In this connection one comment on the portal graniru.org (26 October) information “A National Strike Started in Belarus’: “first and foremost, the political nation has formed in Belarus, the roots of which come from the Great Duchy of Lithuania (…). Namely it will determine the future of Europe! The Kremlin has the only probable version – agree with Finlandization of Belarus”.
Of course, the strike has failed de facto. However, the idea of formation of the political nation of Belarus is of particular interest. Same as the idea of an unknown commentator about Finlandization of Belarus.
For the ‘balance’ of pessimistic and optimistic scenarios and making generalization talking about Finlandization of Belarus even with elements of Marshal plan of the 21st century, we have to go back to the first paragraph of this text. The rhetoric of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Poland pointed out something we need. Of course, if it does not remain just a declaration.
Arūnas Spraunius

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