Expert: These statements show that the regime is aware of its stalemate situation

    Director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies Arseny Sivitsky commented on recent statements by Aleksandr Lukashenko concerning “spies”.

    The analyst said that the point is, rather, not that there is supposedly some kind of spy network inside the enterprises, which reports on ways to bypass the sanctions by the Belarusian authorities.

    This is a completely new reality for the regime. Before the current crisis in relations with the West, the authorities had no experience of living under such economic pressure. Taking into account the rather tough sanctions pressure, which will expand, it becomes almost impossible to bypass it, – said Arseny Sivitsky in an interview to Filin.

    Sectoral sanctions by the US and the EU do not directly imply any secondary action; however, all Belarusian counterparties understand them that way.

    The expert emphasized that the entire supply chain is absolutely transparent for the financial intelligence of Western countries. Belarus mainly trades in US dollars and Euros, respectively, all transactions, even through various intermediaries, are absolutely transparent. Therefore, there is no need for “spy networks” who allegedly report something to someone.

    That is why I would say that these statements show that the regime is aware of its stalemate situation, – said Arseny Sivitsky.

    The political scientist notes that the reaction of the authorities to pressure from the West is asymmetric:

    We are witnessing repression against civil society. It’s no secret: Minister for Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei warned that this would be the state’s response to the sanctions. Apparently, this is another attempt to pass blame within the enterprises.

    However, if the regime acts like this – if they really start looking for some traitors within the system, then this will only further undermine the legitimacy of the authorities in the eyes of those who support this system. Once again, for the Belarusian authorities everything can end with another “shot in their own foot” and only worsen the situation.