Belarus-Russia: Europe does not want a "second Ukraine"
Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, in Berlin on August 26, 2020. Axel Schmidt / Reuters
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Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president, reiterated on Friday August 28 that a Russian military intervention in Belarus would be harmful. The day before, Vladimir Putin reaffirmed that he could deploy forces in this neighboring country if the situation became even more tense. In Europe, we fear a scenario similar to that of Crimea in 2014.
While Alexander Lukashenko has always made a rebellion of part of the Belarusian population since his contested re-election on August 9, in Europe, the situation is still observed with just as much concern.
On Thursday August 27, Vladimir Putin, a longtime ally of the Belarusian President and opposed to any external interference, called on the actors of this crisis to dialogue, while recalling that his army was ready to intervene " if the situation gets out of control and that the extremist elements (...) cross certain barriers ”.
"Russia must respect the wishes and democratic choices of Belarusians"
This Friday, August 28, the day after the intervention of the master of the Kremlin, several voices in Europe are rising against a Russian intervention in Belarus. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, recalled the example of the crisis in Crimea in 2014 , which led to the arrival of Russian soldiers in this disputed territory. " Belarus should not be a second Ukraine, " insisted the vice-president of the European Commission.
“ The people of Belarus do not discuss their proximity to Russia or Europe. That is not the point. The question is democracy, freedom and human rights in Belarus. Russia has repeatedly said that this is a matter of Belarusian domestic politics, and that intervention is not on the agenda. If Russia respects the independence and sovereignty of a nation, it must respect the democratic wishes and choices of Belarusians. Putin has spoken out against an intervention at the moment and I hope that does not happen , ”added Josep Borrell.
We assessed the situation in #Belarus and the EU response at the Informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs ministers #Gymnich. National dialogue is the only way to see democracy and fundamental freedoms respected in Belarus pic.twitter.com/X6GK4bgX6bJosep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 28, 2020
Macron counts on Putin to push Lukashenko to mediation
From Paris, Emmanuel Macron held the same speech. According to the French president, " any external intervention in Belarus (...) would lead to internationalization of this question ", and " the worst is Russian intervention ". This would be " unwelcome " in his eyes. Like Josep Borrell before him, the Head of State took up the Ukrainian example: neither he nor German Chancellor Angela Merkel want "to have a reiteration of what happened in Ukraine ".
“ Our will is to engage Russia in a dialogue on Belarus and to help us convince President Lukashenko of the need to accept mediation from the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] . (...) What President Putin was able to say to Chancellor Merkel and to myself is that he was in favor of OSCE mediation, but not President Lukashenko. So he has to make efforts to help us in this direction, ”he added.
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- European Union
- Alexander Lukashenko
- Vladimir Poutine
- Emmanuel Macron
- Angela Merkel
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