After a visit to Minsk, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said that Lithuania had to maintain a dialogue with the government of Belarus. The minister pointed out that despite events in Ukraine, Western leaders continue to meet with Vladimir Putin, so why the dialogue with Minsk would be impossible?
Raimundas Lopata
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Political scientist Raimundas Lopata in the Žinių Radijas radio programme "Open interview" states that every attempt at dialogue with Alexander Lukashenko could contain possible pitfalls:

"There is only one way to avoid such traps. There is no need to get involved in a face-to-face dialogue. It was one of the decisive reasons for experiencing failure in the history of 2009-2010. But this time the situation is different. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs Linkevičius discussed bilateral relations with Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich and Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

"However it does not mean that the minister represented Lithuania alone. To my understanding, this was the continuation of the renewed dialogue between the European Union (EU) and Belarus. In other words, Linkevičius represented not specifically Lithuania, the but EU.

"Moreover, Linkevičius visited Minsk several days after the visit of Belarusian diplomats in Brussels. Another very interesting fact that needs to be pointed out is that, right before the visit of our foreign minister, the EU external relations commissioner‘s office released the new status quo of the renewed relations between the EU and Belarus."

Professor Lopata thinks it is premature to talk about any changes in the politics of Belarus.

"Only ordinary testing of Lukashenko‘s intentions can be discussed. This testing is not only related to certain steps and rhetoric of Lukashenko. There is another very important detail. At the beginning of the war Between Russia and Ukraine, there was no shortage of fears that the next victim of Russia's aggression will be Lithuania.

"But there is another version which is being discussed by reliable sources. The second victim of Russia will not be a member of NATO, but rather Belarus. It is very hard to tell how this scenario will play out. But it could be so that this information will affect Lukashenko's actions," Lopata said.

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