July 22, 2021

HMM: Without EU action, Belarus will become a failed state on Europe’s doorstep.

The Belarus situation today can be described as Donbasization. Like Russia’s effective seizure of that Ukrainian territory, it involves transformation into a full-on rogue state with no rule of law, complete international isolation, the demolition of civil society, the middle class, and the private sector. The hijacking of a passenger plane was merely the pinnacle of this process.

But Aliaksandr Lukashenka is not planning to stop. A few days after the Ryanair incident, he openly declared that Belarus will no longer stop drugs and illegal immigrants at the EU border. And so, to punish the EU, the regime decided to weaponize illegal migration. It launched a scheme of bringing people from Africa and the Middle East into Belarus and then transferred them to Lithuania’s EU border for a fee.

Domestically, the regime has launched a new attack against private businesses. There are talks among pro-regime analysts about the nationalization of Austria’s Raiffeisenbank and A1 Telecom. Belarus has withdrawn from the EU Eastern Partnership scheme, de facto recognized the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (part of Ukraine), and made September 17, the date the Soviet Union invaded Poland, a national holiday. In other words, Belarus is really breaking bad.

What a mess, but one that might work out to Moscow’s advantage, since Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has so far resisted complete Anschluss with Russia.

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