Statement on concessions and negotiations with the Lukashenka regime

Belarus Freedom Forum is gravely concerned about the reports that the Biden-Harris administration is considering waiving sanctions against the Lukashenka regime to allow a rail corridor for Ukraine’s grain through Belarus.

The Putin and Lukashenka regimes are using the threat of a global food crisis to force concessions from the alliance formed by the US, EU, and Japan in support of Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion. Submitting to this blackmail can only prolong this war of choice and the many crises caused by it, including the humanitarian crisis, the refugee crisis, the oil price crisis, the food crisis, and others.

Lukashenka and Putin are, at this point, inseparable. The idea that one could negotiate with just one of them is a dangerous delusion. Differentiating sanctions between Belarus and Russia significantly reduces their impact on both regimes.

Every day of delay in expanding sanctions and every day of delay in delivering heavy weaponry and air defense capabilities to Ukraine increase the risk of prolonging this war for years.

Continued sidelining and dismissal of Belarusian, Ukrainian, and other Central and Eastern European voices that raise the alarm about the threat that Russia poses to all countries in the region is outrageous.

We call on the Biden-Harris administration not give any concessions to the Lukashenka regime, to find more realistic solutions to mitigate the risk of a looming food crisis, to further expedite all actions in support of Ukraine, and to include representatives of Central and Eastern European diasporas in consultations on the US strategy in the region.