,,Transformation state"

DÜSSELDORF/MINSK | | belarus

DÜSSELDORF/MINSK Because of subversive activities, the Belorussian authorities expelled a high-ranking member of the youth organization of Germany's governing social democratic party (SPD) from their country. The young German politician had organised political ,,seminars"financed by the Federal Foreign Office, which supported the opposition to President Lukashenko. Berlin has aimed for years to replace Lukashenko in order to promote the ,,transformation"of Belarus and its subjugation to German interests.

The Belorussian authorities accuse Jan Busch, the ,,Teamleiter Internationales"(team leader for international affairs) on the state board of the Jusos (SPD's youth organisation) of Nordrhein-Westfalen, of having called for the overthrow of the president during a seminar organised by Busch and funded by the Federal Foreign Office, and of having transferred ,,fairly large amounts of cash"to Belarus. In December of 2002, Minsk had forbidden a Juso ,,seminar"in order to prevent activities against the elected government.

,,Network"to Germany

The Jusos of Nordrhein-Westfalen have been working on a ,,network"in Belarus, oriented along the political ideas of the German government's youth, since the middle of the 1990s. They cultivate close relationships, inter alia with the Social Democratic Party of Belarus (BSDP-NG), which would pay off if the BSDG-NG came to office, and they increase their influence in Belarus by means of seminars, conferences and educational trips. Last year the SPD youth organisation organised a project funded by the Federal Foreign Office in Belorussian district towns where young people were trained to participate in local elections; the project is being continued.

Step by step

A strategic document of the Jusos states that by ,,setting up structures of democracy and civil society," ,,an important contribution to a progressive development in Belarus"could be made; this was important, because Belarus was still standing ,,at the beginning of the transformation process."In spite of strong pressure from abroad, Belarus consequently refuses to subjugate itself to German interests ( ,,progress") and to allow the local economy being sold-out to western consortiums ( ,,civil society"). So Berlin has aimed at a ,,transformation"of the state for years and works towards replacing democratically elected president Lukashenko.

Numerous NGOs, among them the social democratic ,,Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation" 1), the ,,Center for Applied Policy Research"(CAP), and the ,,German foundation for International Legal Cooperation"(IRZ), operate furtively for the Federal Foreign Office work in Minsk and/or other cities of Belarus. The head of the OSCE agency in Minsk, Eberhard Heyken, who took up his duty on February 10, 2003, is the second German in succession.

1) See also earlier article ,,The Most Effective Instruments of German Foreign Policy"

Sources:
Strukturpapier NRW Jusos 2001; Beschluss der Strukturkommission/Einstimmig
Juso-Mitglied wegen Jugendseminar in Weißrussland ausgewiesen; www.belarusnews.de 18.08.2003
,,Seminare sind subversive Tätigkeit"; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 19.08.2003