How to Break Lukashenka

Av Anders Åslund
Publicerad 27 september, 2021

On August 9, 2020, Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Belarus’s former president, stole the Belarusian presidential elections. The Western reaction was sharp and instant, but it took time to coalesce and react. One year after the theft of the Belarusian elections, it is time to review the Western policy on Belarus.

In the brief ”How to Break Lukashenka” Dr. Anders Åslund examines the possibility for the West to break down the Lukashenka regime by the effective use of various sanctions. The main Western powers – the US, the EU, the UK, Canada, and others – need to cooperate more closely. They should set up a coordinating council for sanctions on Belarus. The West should also impose diplomatic sanctions, disqualifying Lukashenka diplomatically. The most important sanctions, however, are personal sanctions against the ruling clique, their allies and families, as they raise the cost of being close to Lukashenka.

This brief is part of the series ”How to Build a Democracy”, which aims to create understanding about reforms within the context of the Belarusian democratization process.

Dr. Anders Åslund is a senior fellow at Stockholm Free World Forum and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. He is a leading specialist on economic policy in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Dr. Åslund has served as an economic adviser to several governments, notably the governments of Russia (1991-94) and Ukraine (1994-97). He has published widely and is the author of 15 books. His most recent book is Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy (2019) Other recent books are Europe’s Growth Challenge (2017), Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It (2015), and How Capitalism Was Built ( 2013).