The incumbent president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will win the upcoming presidential election in December. This opinion was expressed by former U.S. Secretary Assistant for European and Eurasian Affairs David Merkel. Nevertheless, he believes that "the international community will not regard these elections as free and fair."
«Recognizing this, the United States should seek new opportunities after these elections to keep the doors open for better relations with Belarus in close cooperation with the EU. We need a policy, advancing our principles and interests in relations with Minsk of today, without waiting for Lukashenko to leave,» a former U.S. secretary assistant said, InoSMI.
According to him, the dream of a united, free and peaceful Europe won’t be fully realized until Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine find their place in common European home. «We do not aspire for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus to move away from Moscow, but we can support them on the path towards a common European home. European integration is the closest and surest way to prosperity in the region and the United States. And here we are talking about strategy, economy, and ultimately, our security,» David Merkel said.
According to the politician, the privatization process in Belarus forced the neighboring countries to recognize the fact that their current attitude to Alexander Lukashenko only pushes Belarus «into the arms of Moscow» and that «Belarus has become a state, wholly owned by Russia and Putin oligarchs (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin — Telegraf).»
Minsk, looking at the events of August 2008, when Russia invaded its tiny neighbor Georgia, realized the need to develop relations with other countries, without limiting ties with its difficult eastern neighbor. This does not mean that Minsk will reorient to the West, but these events will reduce its dependence on Russia and help it to diversify the forms of cooperation, if Moscow becomes more intrusive in its actions,» David Merkel said.
«The United States must deter the Kremlin’s ambitions by a clear message to Moscow that it does not have a privileged sphere of influence over its neighbors,» the politician believes.