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A recent online meeting hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank discussed ways to force regime change in Belarus. The think tank detailed a plan with the aim of removing Aleksander Lukashenko, the current president of Belarus, from power by utilizing sanctions and other methods of pressure.
The Washington-based Atlantic Council is affiliated with NATO and receives funding from international billionaires like Adrienne Arsht, global companies like Goldman Sachs, Facebook and Google, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. These are only a few examples of their extensive funding. Some of the most powerful and influential figures in the world participate in the operations of the think tank, as well as a representative of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarus’ main opposition figure.
Objectives of the virtual meeting, entitled “Biden and Belarus: A strategy for the new administration,” includes organizing Washington’s control over the Belarussian opposition movement. In addition, they suggest a new position for a senior organizer to administer and maintain sanctions against Minsk, and appoint a senior official to administer assistance to the opposition. Their agenda also emphasized recognizing Tikhanovskaya’s position as the true leader of Belarus and delegitimize Lukashenko by relocating the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to the Belarussian capital of Minsk, Julie Fisher, to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
The Atlantic Council also suggested that U.S. Congressional funding for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty must be doubled from its current $117.4 million. The think tank also called for the U.S. to offer more advice to Belarussian opposition leaders. John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, suggested in the virtual meeting that Belarussian opposition leaders should reduce public expressions about their aspirations for Minsk to be involved in Western security councils like NATO and economic structures like the European Union so that they do not provoke any response from Moscow.
Economist Anders Åslund, who is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, also suggested that sanctions should be applied to companies in Russia and not Belarus. He argued that if sanctions hit Belarus, Minsk would be more dependent on Moscow.