Article

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

Putting the Squeeze on Belarus

Author: Anya Schmemann, Director, Task Force Program
April 23, 2012
Council on Foreign Relations

Share

This is a guest post by Anya Schmemann on the blog, "The Water's Edge."

Europe's "last dictator" seems to be feeling the squeeze.

In an unusual show of unity, strength, and resolve, the EU recently froze the assets of twenty-nine Belarusian companies, blocked several accounts, and banned travel to the EU for a number of officials and business people—the toughest Western sanctions yet against Minsk.

And—particularly hurtful to sports fan Lukashenko—EU leaders suggested that Belarus might lose its chance to host the coveted ice hockey world championships in 2014.

The hard line seems to have paid off.

The United States and the EU welcomed the release and pardon of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and fellow activist Dmitry Bondarenko, but called for the immediate release of all other political prisoners. Rights groups say that at least ten opposition activists remain in prison, including another former presidential candidate, Nikolai Statkevich.

Lukashenko, who has stifled dissent and independent media during his almost eighteen years in power, cracked down hard on the opposition following his reelection in December 2010, which he swept with a suspiciously high eighty percent of the vote. Sannikov and several other opposition figures were arrested when they protested election rigging at the polls.

View full text of article.

More on This Topic

Video

Infrastructure Spending to Grow

Speakers: Jeff Madrick, Ellen R. McGrattan, Nick Taylor, and Anna J. Schwartz
Presider: Simon Constable

Watch experts discuss the lessons learned from Depression era government spending programs and how they may be applied to the recent global...

Foreign Affairs Article

Can Economists Learn?

Author: Alan S. Blinder

A recent book of essays by top economists suggests that many of the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis were ones that should have been...

Op-Ed

How the Fed Flubbed It

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Atlantic

CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby reviews economic historian Barry Eichengreen's newest book Hall of Mirrors, which argues that history...