Tuesday, April 2, 2024

West Must Adopt Pro-Active and Long-Term Strategy for Belarus, Shraibman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 28 – Artyom Shraibman, a Belarusian analyst who has been living abroad since 2021, says the West must focus on his country by adopting a pro-active and long-term strategy that will help transform Belarus into a democratic society and wean it away from dominance by the Russian Federation.

            In an essay for the Berlin Center of the Carnegie Endowment, he argues the West for too long has passively reacted to Minsk and viewed it often through a Russian prism rather than adopting a policy focused on Belarus to help it become democratic and independent of Moscow (carnegieendowment.org/2024/03/28/ru-pub-92074).

            He suggests this policy should be designed for the longer term and have five key components:

·       De-nuclearizing Belarus by pushing Minsk to demand the removal of Russian nuclear weapons;

·       Supporting the democratic segment of Belarusian society;

·       Designing sanctions so that Belarusians can see how they can get out from under them rather than viewing them as something permanent;

·       Maintaining channels of communication with the Minsk government; and

·       Institutionalizing the Belarusian question by naming a special representative for Belarus to coordinate Western policy toward that country.


Such policies won’t achieve wonders overnight, Shraibman says; but taken together and maintained over the longer term, they give real hope that Belarus can be a democratic country closely tied to the West rather than dominated by Moscow.

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