Zisser: Sanctions gave no result


Even “perverted”
opposition members, “corrupt” businessmen and representatives of the civil
community say that the EU sanctions have yielded no result. But why?

“There is no result!” owner of Reliable software Yury
is very emotional. “The sanctions
were imposed to promote democracy in our country, to introduce fair and free elections,
to release political prisoners. Do you think that there is a result?!”

The sanctions
promote confrontation in the Belarusian society, worsen the conditions for political
prisoners and prevent Belarus from going back to the 2008 level of relations
with the European Union, the businessman thinks. They are bad for entrepreneurs
too. The value of Belarusian business has decreased, Zisser complained. And it does
not matter whether the business belongs to the regime or has nothing to do with
it financially.

Yury Zisser: “A Canadian
company had to pay us 3 thousand dollars. The company did pay, but we did not
get the money: the payment was transferred with the help of Bank of America because
it was in U.S. dollars. But the bank did not look into the sanctions: it simply
blocked all transfers to Belarus. It is easier and more convenient for them.
This is the real result of these sanctions!”

Head of Brussels
office For Democratic Belarus Volha Stuzhynskaya agrees with Zisser from
the civil community’s point of view.  

Volha Stuzhynskaya: “The imprisoned
people are still in prison. There have been no dramatic changes. On the
contrary, the relations with the EU and between people have been narrowed. It
has affected the society in a negative way.”

Leader of the Movement For Freedom Alyaksandr Milinkevich thinks that the
visa sanctions are a moral punishment for Belarusian officials. He does not
mind these sanctions. But economic sanctions do damage. And political prisoners
suffer most.

Alyaksandr Milinkevich: “No sanctions have ever released political prisoners in Belarus. And I
do not think that this is going to happen now. Sanctions do not release political
prisoners, but a dialogue can do it. It will be the third time a dialogue may
help release them.”

Political scientist
Yury Chavusau agrees that a dialogue
can help release political prisoners. But a game cannot be called a dialogue…

Yury Chavusau: “The concessions
regime can make under such pressure are simple: this person should be released.
However, when it comes to acquittal, the regime can start playing games.”

What has
made these people express their opinions about the EU sanctions? Many people have
understood that the sanctions are inefficient, Yury Zisser thinks.

Alyaksandr Milinkevich: “Many people thought that saying that economic sanctions are not necessary
would sound like a betrayal of political prisoners. It is a mistake. I think that
the majority have already understood it.”

The politicians
and experts who “did not believe in efficiency” were immediately labelled “regime
lobbyists”. “They attacked from all
Yury Zisser complained.

Alyaksandr Milinkevich: “It is unacceptable to be called a
betrayer and Lukashenka’s agent. But it was people’s reaction! The current situation
is so tense, Belarus’ independence is in danger and we cannot remain silent. It
concerns influential people most.”

All “the
lobbyists” say: the release of political prisoners is not being discussed and
it is the top priority. The EU administration and Stefan Fule agree with it.

Photo: Zmitser
Lukashuk, toxaby.livejournal.com