For nearly two months, Belarusians have been taking to the streets to protest the results of the fraudulent presidential election of August 9. According to Ales Bialiatski of the Human Rights Center “Viasna,” close to 12,000 people have been detained since the night of the election. As of September 1, UN experts have received reports of 450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment in detention. International human rights organizations raised concerns over the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades by riot police.
Following the meeting of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka with Vladimir Putin on September 14 in Sochi, one might get the impression that the Russian leader fully supported his counterpart amid the ongoing mass protests in Belarus. In particular, Putin confirmed his commitment to provide Minsk with a $1.5 billion loan and reiterated his recognition of Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus. In turn, the Belarusian president again tried to demonstrate his loyalty to Moscow and to the ideas of the “allied states” of Belarus and Russia.
Russia – in the long run – is in decline and should rethink its policies towards the Former Soviet Union.
BY DANIEL ROSSELL-EVANS Shanghai Cooperation Organization Introduction The end of this year’s G7 Summit in Canada provoked images of an alliance divided, with key partners airing their grievances in public.… read more →