Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: kremlin.ru/Global Look Press / www.globallookpress.com
The leader of Belarus intends to blackmail the West and demand political preferences
The harsh verdict on opposition leaders Maria Kolesnikova and Maxim Znak indicates that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko intends to bargain with Western countries – in exchange for the freedom of activists, they must recognize his legitimacy as head of state and lift a number of sanctions. This point of view was expressed by the Belarusian political scientist Dmitry Bolkunets, commenting on the today’s decision of the Minsk Regional Court to Lente.ru.
According to him, the long terms of Kolesnikova and Znak are “high stakes”, which father raises in the game with his foreign opponents.
“He counts on the condescending attitude of Western countries and the sale of political prisoners in exchange for lifting sanctions and recognizing himself as president. But Lukashenka in the West no longer exists as a person with whom one can negotiate something,” the expert said.
In his opinion, this verdict shows that Alexander Grigorievich intends to take revenge on his political critics, who “trampled and destroyed” his “historical mission.”
The political scientist called Lukashenko a “tyrant and dictator” that is going down in history, who will no longer be able to restore his reputation.
Earlier on Monday, September 6, members of the Presidium of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition Kolesnikova and Znak were sentenced by the court to 11 and 10 years in prison, respectively.
The activists were accused under a number of articles – “Conspiracy or other actions committed with the aim of seizing state power”, “Calls to action aimed at causing harm to national security”, “Creation of an extremist group or participation in it.” The defense will challenge the court’s verdict.
The West has already reacted to such a harsh decision. Thus, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab called it an attack by the Belarusian authorities on the defenders of freedom and democracy. The minister in his Twitter demanded from Lukashenka “to stop these repressions and release all political prisoners.”
The collective Brussels said that the oppositionists were tried “on unfounded charges,” RIA Novosti reports.
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