The west can disapprove all it likes of leaders like Belarus’s Lukashenko, but only engagement will change anything
What should we do about Belarus? It is becoming the North Korea of Europe, its opposition leader in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, told the European parliament this week. But it must be the wrong question. The question is not what should we do, but what can we do?
European and American politicians reach for economic sanctions as they used to reach for gunboats or bombers. But gunboats meant results. You soon knew if anything had changed. Sanctions are like papal edicts, signals of moral superiority supposedly cost-free to the signaller.