Those who orchestrate the migrant crisis at the border with Belarus pursue at least three goals and there are at least there development scenarios, IPN’s senior contributor Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Germany, stated in a public debate.
According to him, the government in Minsk needs to change the domestic narrative as to the real agenda of the country. “Instead of discussing the introduction of repression mechanisms by the regime, representatives of the opposition, civil society and journalists are arrested, nongovernmental organizations are liquidated, the people discuss something else - the migrant, humanitarian crisis at the border with the European Union and NATO. To my mind, this is one of the goals pursued by Alexandr Lukashenko.
“The second goal is to create a negative image for the European Union and to show its contribution to the crisis. Evidently, in this attempt to demonize the EU, the same target is aimed at Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, so as to discredit the EU member states that border Belarus,” stated Dionis Cenușa.
He noted that the third goal is Lukashenko’s attempt to acquire international or regional importance, to obtain possibilities by which he could say that the international community, in particular the EU, the European leaders, recognize his legitimacy following the falsification of the last presidential elections in Belarus. ”I consider he manages to active this, for internal consumption. He already obtained something – he had two telephone conversations with Angela Merkel. The chief of the European diplomatic service Josep Borrell had two telephone discussions with the foreign minister of Belarus, and they already started to discuss how to solve a problem that was created artificially by the regime of Lukashenko,” said the researcher.
As to the scenarios, he noted that the first scenario is a humanitarian crisis with loss of human lives and this will make the EU to discuss indirectly, through international organizations, with the authorities in Belarus, so as to offer humanitarian assistance to the migrants at the border.
The second scenario is an agreement between the official Minsk and the European side, which would involve a roadmap for reaching a compromise on the return to the recognition of the readmission agreement, which is very important for the European Union as a third party undertakes to accept back the persons who reached the EU only under such an agreement.
The third, most negative scenario is military alterations that can also lead to clashes between the NATO member states and Belarus, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “Besides this, Belarus has agreements with the Russian Federation, which envision Russia’s participation in the protection of the border with Belarus,” concluded the researcher.
The public debate entitled “Migrant Crisis in Belarus: reasons, dangers, solutions” is the 214th installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. The IPN’s project is implemented with the assistance of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.