19 August 2020

All Options on the Table in Belarus After Popular Protests Catch Lukashenka and Putin by Surprise – New Diplomacy co-Founder Jan Piekło

In Belarus, everything is possible, both roundtable talks and the use of force by Russia, "and everything is decided by Moscow," said the former Polish ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Piekło, in an interview on Polish Radio 24 on 17 August. 

Piekło, one of the co-founders of New Diplomacy, served as Poland's Ambassador to Ukraine from 2016-2019. According to Piekło, Russian President Vladimir Putin was caught by surprise by the events in Belarus since the presidential election on 9 August, after which the authorities claimed that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka won with 80% of the vote – a figure believed by nobody. 

According to Piekło, the events in Belarus bear a closer similarity to events in Poland in 1989 than to the Orange Revolution or Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 respectively.

Lukashenka would be willing, of course after consultations with Moscow, to agree to roundtable talks, said Piekło, but it would be a delaying tactic, "not a breakthrough".

The full interview is available here.

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