The Dialogue Delusion - Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Uladzimir Matskevich

Last week Belarusian analysts were busy discussing Lukashenka's proposal to negotiate with his opponents and the West on how to combat the crises in Belarus. A few days following his proposal Lukashenka said he never meant to discuss anything with the opposition, he only wanted to talk to the West. 

Uladzimir Matskevich: What Should We Understand Today? Uladzimir Matskevich talks about Lukashenka’s proposal for a dialogue with the opposition. He believes that Lukashenka has not offered anything concrete and will try to deceive everyone once again.

Why are Political Cases Disontinued? Andrei Yegorov, Director of the Centre for European Transformation, notes that Lukashenka releases political prisoners to improve the foreign and domestic context of relations with other countries. Unfortunately, Belarusian civil society and its political opposition have no effect on this process.

The Form, Content, Reason and Purpose of Lukashenka's Statements. Anatoly Sidarevich calls Lukashenka’s proposal for dialogue a "bare declaration," "demagogic gesture," "trial balloon". The analyst believes that "Lukashenka suggested a round table in order to once again mislead the West and get money for his regime's support".

Roundtable: Is Delukashenization possible? Andrei Dynko believes that Belarusian intellectuals should support the round table proposed by Lukashenka and encourage the opposition to participate in it. The important issue for its success is the following: “civil society will gain something positive only if it combines discussions at the round table with the mobilization of protest activity”.

The "round table" may have many sharp edges. Political scholar Andrei Yegorov, ex-presidential candidates Uladzimir Neklyayeu and Rygor Kastusyou, and economist Stanislav Bogdankevich believe that it is premature to speak about a dialogue with the authorities. "After all, nothing prevents Lukashenka from going back on his word tomorrow. Moreover the proposal itself is very vague".

The Yield on a Single Course: Problems, Challenges and Prospects. Alena Rybkina (Agency of Political Analysis) analyzes the governmental package of measures designed to stabilize the foreign exchange market in Belarus over the next month or two. She concludes that the prospects of achieving a single course are still unclear. At the same time the confusion and lack of professionalism of the top officials have become increasingly apparent.

Crisis Plan for Belarus: Action Packages #1-4. Ex-presidential candidate and economist Yaraslau Ramanchuk offers his exit plan from the economic crisis in Belarus: packet #1 “price stability and the elimination of the trade deficit”, #2 “monetary policy, the elimination of the currency shortage”, #3 “fiscal policy”, #4 “tax policy”.

Belarus: testing ground for donors. Pavol Demes, Senior Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund, calls Belarus “a donor desert”. He urges the application of the forgotten underground methods of assistance because open support may result in prosecution of civil society activists. He also highlights the importance of monitoring the effectiveness of foreign aid delivery in the conditions when many democratic and civil society groups are "illegal" in Belarus. 


Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.


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