West invested $700 million into Belarus’ democratization over 5 years

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"A tenth of the money was spent directly on the civil society," says Andrei Yahorau who co-authored the analysis of EU donor suppor. "The state or organizations close to the state received 30% of the money."

The rest was spent both on the state and the civil society in 2006-2010, Mr Yahorau claims. But this was done in a strange way.

Andrei Yahorau: “Most of the money (donor support for Belarus. – Euroradio’s note) is used by international institutions to cover the expenses of the countries and institutions in EU member states that use the money for Belarus."

There are also intermeditories to channel the money through before financing the projects. Does it mean that most of the “Belarusian” money does not even reach Belarus?!

Andrei Yahorau: "Most of the money does not even cross the Belarusian border. Only 30% of the resources can reach Belarus."

It means that…

Andrei Yahorau: “The Belarusian state and international mediums receive most of the money. The Belarusian opposition and civil society get much less.”

Mr Yahorau reckons that statements by Belarusian officials "crazy financing" funding for the Belarusian opposition are groundless, Yahorau claimed. 

The analysis made by experts of the European Transformation Centre does not show who received the money in Belarus and for what projects. The European documents they worked with do not show it either. But they show that donors started allocating… less money on human rights protection after 2010.

Andrei Yahorau: “Part of the money was spent on supporting democratic institutions directly. The money still exists but it was allocated to another target group. This is strange.”

It is also surprising that the former main donors of “democratization processes in Belarus” reduced financing after 2010 while others increased it. Sweden has replaced Germany and Poland. However, this is not a relay.

Andrei Yahorau: “Sweden is gradually developing its civil society assistance. It is expanding the channels used for this assistance through the civil society. Germany is focused on the things needed in the process of the country’s modernization and evolution and chooses state and transparent channels for money allocation.”

Some of “the channels” were blocked by the Belarusian authorities after the Square and the reaction of the West to it. Germany refused from some of them too – it was decided that their usage was unethical.

There is no information about the money the West spent on Belarus last year. However, we will probably see a change there: the state will receive less and the civil society – more, Euroradio’s interlocutor thinks. But how much money hasn’t reached Belarus?