The last dictator of Europe is now becoming a Problem for Putin and the EU

It was not a big Surprise that Russia's President Vladimir Putin to the Chinese President Xi Jinping was one of the first who congratulated to the President of

The last dictator of Europe is now becoming a Problem for Putin and the EU

It was not a big Surprise that Russia's President Vladimir Putin to the Chinese President Xi Jinping was one of the first who congratulated to the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to win elections. The cooperation between the two neighbouring "brother peoples" should be strengthened, Putin said after Kremlin details.

Previously, the long-time incumbent, Alexander Lukashenko, who is regarded as the "last dictator of Europe" had been declared the winner of the presidential election. But reports of pre-filled ballots made for headlines. The human rights organization Vesna, according to the military should be subject to, or employees of state-owned companies have been to the vote forced.

Then the country began on Sunday evening-wide protests. Images showed protesters, who were running with blood mass of bloodstained faces through the streets, motionless on the floor, or of policemen were dragged away. Security forces used water cannons, tear gas and stun grenades. dpa/Uncredited/AP/dpa police during a Protest in Minsk, smoke grenades against protesters.

Putin to Lukashenka: "If we rock the boat, together we drown"

Recently, the relationship between Putin and Russia was regarded as a rather tense: for a number of years, there are always problems between the two countries - for example, in the oil conflict, or with a view to integration issues. "For Putin, Lukashenko is no longer the 'young brother' as before," says Olga Dryndova of the research centre for Eastern Europe in an interview with FOCUS Online.

However, "The fact that Putin was one of the first who has congratulated Lukashenko, although there is still no official election results, means that it will accept Lukashenka as a President, although probably only a minority-for it has voted", says the expert.

Shortly before the election, Lukashenko had 33 Russian mercenaries, who were in Belarus, because of the alleged Coup plotters under arrest. On election day, Lukashenka declared, however, that Putin and he had agreed to clarify the thing with the fighters. Finally, the conflict could also have another cause: "Perhaps a third of the country has provoked," he said.

According to his own vote on Sunday, said Lukashenko in addition, Putin would have told him that they were both "in a boat". And further: "When we rock, together we drown." Belarus is economically and geopolitically dependent on Russia. A political Revolution in the country would play Putin is hardly in the cards.

change is difficult, if Putin Lukashenko supports

"change is difficult, as long as Putin continues to Lukashenko," commented the Spanish newspaper "El Mundo", the protests of the population on Tuesday. It was also "not surprising that the Opposition is the example of neighboring Ukraine, where Putin prevented a democratic change and a rapprochement to the EU, as well as a conflict triggered, causing thousands Dead and the country divided."

Eastern Europe-expert Dryndova, however, warns that the current events in the context of the conflict in Ukraine. The people it not going primarily to geopolitical issues. Rather, they wished to have after 26 years, a new face in politics, says Dryndova to FOCUS Online. "A clear geopolitical Agenda Belarusians neither the protesters nor the candidates. You want independence, but they are also friendly relations with all neighboring countries.“

a Putin-even the military?

What will be the role of Russia, then in the future? Can be expected from the Intervention of Putin? No, says Eastern Europe expert Dryndova. "As long as Russia realizes that Lukashenko's security forces have the Situation under control, you will not also intervene. It is not in their interest.“

First, if the protests continue, Moscow could come into play: If Lukashenko does not have enough security forces, it is conceivable that he is asking Russia for assistance, suspected Dryndova. Also, Franak Viacorka, Journalist and media consultant from Minsk, says to "tagesschau.de" that Moscow's military might intervene: "Nothing is excluded, everything is possible."

member States need a uniform attitude

voices from the EU have reacted with strong criticism to the choice. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on the Belarusian authorities, the voters vote "accurately count and publish". Francisco Seco/AP Pool/Reuters

Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki suggested a special EU summit on the situation in Belarus before. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday that it will now be discussed in the framework of the EU, such as Europe react together. He called for a United stance in the 27 member States. For the Federal government, there is no doubt that "the minimum standards for democratic elections were not met," said Seibert. The reports of electoral fraud were "credible".

EU foreign envoy Josep Borrell said the EU will continue to follow developments and assess, "to design such a response and the EU's relations with Belarus are".

How is Germany responding?

"I expect a reaction from the EU," says Dryndova of the research centre for Eastern Europe. "The EU has no other choice. The whole world has seen these pictures, and Belarus, is located right on the border.“ Also from Germany, the expert expects a significant reaction.

"In the last few years, the English have intensified, Belarusian conditions. Steinmeier has visited Belarus, it has developed a Belarusian-German historical Commission, which has begun this year“, says the expert. Lukashenko himself took part in the Minsk Dialogue Forum, an expert conference, which was financially supported by political foundations from Germany. Completely unclear is how the cooperation between the two countries will look like in the future.

with Agency material

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Updated Date: 12 August 2020, 02:27

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