How the Invalidated Results of the Belarus Presidential Election Could Lead to a Third World War on November 5th
President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko
As Americans decide who they will vote for in the November 3rd presidential election, the United States recently brokered a peace deal between Bahrain, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates.
In a historic moment at the White House, President Donald Trump participated in the signing of the Abraham Accords, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.
This agreement has not only received widespread support from the international community, it has garnered a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for President Trump. Many see it as the next step towards peace in the Middle Eastern region.
Meanwhile, more than 4,600 miles away from Washington, D.C., a small European country is facing the prospect of a war that could affect citizens all around the globe.
Alexander Lukashenko—who was reelected as President of Belarus in August—is facing tremendous pressure from the international community over allegations of authoritarian activity. After he was given a sixth term in office, his political opponents claimed that the results were manipulated. Declaring his win was legitimate, Lukashenko ordered a police crackdown on post-election protests following the announcement of the results.
In a wave of rebuke, the United Nations Human Rights Council recently denounced the repression of demonstrations against the president. In their resolution, several European ministers agreed to increase monitoring of human rights abuses in the country.
“The council’s consideration of the recent events in Belarus is timely,” U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a prepared statement. “Peaceful demonstrations have continued to contest the declared result of last month’s presidential election.”
According to Reuters, U.N. rights investigator Anais Marin reported that more than 10,000 people have been “abusively arrested,” with thousands of people claiming they were “savagely beaten” since Lukashenko declared victory.
While Belarus is represented in the U.N., it is currently not a member of the council. Thus, they could not block the resolution.
The United Nations is not the only organization sparring with Lukashenko. Denmark announced that 17 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have commissioned an independent group of experts to investigate the alleged human rights violations inflicted by the Belarus government. The team is expected to publish a report within six to eight weeks, per Reuters.
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod recently stated: “Basically, the mission is about holding the Belarussian authorities accountable for their gross violations of the right of the people of Belarus to have free and fair elections, fundamental freedoms and a well-functioning rule of law.”
As if the backlash wasn’t intense enough, the European Union (EU) vowed to impose economic sanctions on Belarus due to the repression of demonstrations.
In response, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei stated:
"There will, of course, be both personal sanctions against the representatives of various EU structures, as well as against representatives of various EU member states," implying a trade war will occur in the near future.
A few days ago, EU Lawmakers rejected the official results of the August 9th presidential election. According to the European Parliament, Lukashenko will no longer be recognized as the Belarusian president after his term expires in November.
“Once the term of office for the incumbent authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expires on November 5, parliament will no longer recognize him as the president of the country...”
Said the parliament in a recent statement. While the resolution is not legally binding, it carries political weight in the international community.
Lithuanian statesman Petras Austrevicius recently commented that “The EU needs a new approach toward Belarus, which includes the termination of any cooperation with Lukashenko’s regime.”
Stepping aside from Europe, Belarus is also receiving heat from the United States. According to The Hill, the State Department released a statement condemning reports of abductions and forced deportations in Belarus. Moreover, American diplomats have warned that the United States will consider sanctions against Lukashenko’s administration if anti-democratic actions continue.
“Free and fair elections, genuinely contested, are the basis for the authority and legitimacy of all governments,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in August. “We strongly condemn ongoing violence against protesters and the detention of opposition supporters, as well as the use of internet shutdowns to hinder the ability of the Belarusian people to share information about the election and the demonstrations.”
Throughout the barrage of chaos, an emerging theme is materializing. Belarus—a former Soviet republic—is receiving support from the Kremlin, which signifies a geopolitical struggle between East and West.
Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), recently denounced ongoing actions against Lukashenko as efforts to inspire a coup d’état in the small European country.
“According to the SVR’s information, the United States is playing a key role in Belarus,” Naryshkin was quoted as saying. “Essentially we are talking about a poorly disguised attempt to organize another ‘color revolution’ and an anti-constitutional coup, the goals and objectives of which have nothing to do with the interests of Belarusian citizens.”
Several sources have confirmed that Lukashenko has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Putin has publicly vowed military support for Lukashenko if necessary.
President Lukashenko with President Putin
Buttressing Russia’s claims, Lukashenko—who has been in power for 26 years—says the anti-government protesters are being back by foreign powers, including the United States. While he has offered to end the standoff with constitutional reforms, he has no intentions to resign.
While Lukashenko has dismissed the concerns of anti-government protesters, he is alleging that Lithuania and Poland have moved their troops to the borders of his country. On Thursday, Lukashenko ordered a complete border shutdown with the two countries. In a moment that shocked the world, Lukashenko declared to a live audience:
“We are forced to withdraw troops from the streets, put the army on high alert, and close the state border on the west, with Lithuania and Poland. I don’t want my country to be at war," said Lukashenko in a recent speech.
"Moreover, I don’t want Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania to turn into a theater of military operations where our issues will not be resolved. Therefore, today in front of this hall of the most beautiful, advanced, patriotic people, I want to appeal to the peoples of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine—stop your crazy politicians, don’t let war break out!”
NATO (in which Lithuania and Poland are members) denies their forces are near the Belarus border. Yet despite this, American soldiers have arrived in Lithuania for a two-month deployment near the Belarusian border.
Arriving earlier than expected, the American unit transited to Lithuania from Poland and could potentially remain in Lithuania due to the severe tensions in the region.
Meanwhile, sources indicate that Russian forces have begun to exercise with Belarusian troops near the Polish border.
In short, it is imperative that the United States continues to closely monitor the situation in Eastern Europe. The people of Europe desire peace and prosperity for all of their neighbors; the American people desire peace and prosperity for the people of Europe.
Therefore, it is pivotal for the disputed results of the Belarusian presidential election to be resolved in a diplomatic manner—for Belarus, and the world, is on the brink.
Article Written by Jett James Pruitt
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