An experts debate organized by the Warsaw Institute and The Warsaw Institute Review “Europe’s reaction to the Belarusian protests” took place online on August 26 via broadcasting on our social media channels. We invite you to watch the record of this event.
After the announcement of the election results in Belarus on June 9, protests against the Alexander Lukashenko’s regime began. More and more social groups dissatisfied with the effects of many years of rule by the current decision-makers started joining the strikes. It is the greatest mobilization of the Belarusian society in the history of this country, which caused reactions from the authorities in Minsk. How will the Belarusian spring affect the country’s relations with its neighbors? Will the European Union, torn by its own problems, pay attention to Belarus? What can you expect from the Kremlin and the Kyiv in conflict with it? Is the security of Poland and the Baltic states at risk? The invited experts answered these and many other questions during the debate.
The event was attended by:
– Minister Anna Fotyga – in 2006–2007, minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the Committee for European Integration, in 2007–2008, head of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, member of the Sejm of the 7th term, member of the European Parliament of the 6th, 8th and 9th term and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Security and Defense of the EP. In March 2020, she was part of a group of ten experts, established at the initiative of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to start work on the reform of the North Atlantic Alliance,
– Prof. Piotr Bajda – assistant professor at the Department of International Relations and European Studies at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University. Former researcher at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Center for Eastern Studies, deputy director of the Polish Institute in Bratislava. Author of many publications on Central and Eastern Europe,
– Prof. Tomasz Grzegorz Grosse – lecturer at the Department of Politics of the European Union at the University of Warsaw. Sociologist, political scientist and historian. He specializes in the analysis of economic policies of the EU and in the Member States, as well as in Europeanization and theoretical thought of European integration,
– Grzegorz Kuczyński – director of the Eurasia program at the Warsaw Institute and expert on eastern issues. Author of books and publications on the backstage of Russian domestic and foreign policy.
The host of the meeting was Julia Grzybowska – president of the Warsaw Institute.
Experts discussed current events in Belarus and the activities of European institutions aimed at supporting a quick resolution of the political crisis in that country. The first speaker was Grzegorz Kuczyński, who summed up the events so far and predicted their continuation. He emphasized that Belarus is still strongly influenced by Russia, therefore the situation will most likely not resolve without the participation of its eastern neighbor. Minister Anna Fotyga presented the actions taken by the European Parliament and European Union countries supporting the pro-democratic aspirations of Belarusians.
The guests of the debate were unambiguous, pointing out that the situation in Belarus is not identical to the protests that took place in Ukraine in 2014 and rejected the conspiracy theories of the Belarusian authorities about the alleged incitement of the protesters by Ukraine. The speakers also emphasized that the events in Belarus may contribute to the improvement of Polish-Belarusian relations and increase Poland’s support for its neighbor.
We invite you to watch the recording on YouTube and follow our next events!