The Future of Belarus in Europe

Panel Discussion with Franak Viačorka, Christian Ultsch and Katherine Younger

24 December 2021

Consistency is key. Since last August, our demands did not change. Only free and fair elections will solve the crisis, nothing else.

Wojciech Przybylski © Christian Fischer
Wojciech Przybylski © Christian Fischer

Wojciech Przybylski: We have here with us Franak Viačorka, special foreign policy advisor to Madame Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Christian Ultsch, foreign editor at “Die Presse,” and Katherine Younger, director for Ukraine in Dialogue program at the Institute of Human Sciences. My name is Wojciech Przybylski, I am editor in chief of Visegrad Insight, and at the same time, Europe’s Futures Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences. This event is also made possible with the support of the ERSTE Foundation and Europe’s Future program which is run with IWM.

Let me ask first, Christian, as you have also conducted an interview that was going in “Die Presse” over the weekend, the special edition with Madame Tsikhanouskaya. As a foreign affairs specialist, How is Belarus seen in the eyes of Europeans and how do you assess Europe’s response to what is going on in Belarus?

Christian Ultsch © Christian Fischer
Christian Ultsch © Christian Fischer

Christian Ultsch: I believe that Lukashenko did not quite expect a robust response. It is not the first time that Mr Lukashenko has rigged elections, and it is not the first time that he has detained opponents. But he used to play with it.

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