Our Reader: 'Would a democratic Belarus choose not to join the EU? I doubt it.'

One thing I'd like to point out is that many people who are not from this Baltic Sea area may easily think that (acording to the news) in order to get from Kaliningrad to the Mainland you only need to cross Poland or Lithuania.

You can't go from Kaliningrad to Russia, by land, crossing just one country. There are three possible combinations of countries. Poland + Belarus, Lithuania + Belarus, and Lithuania + Latvia.

Once again, we're just thinking in the short term. We have Belarus as a country that won't join the EU, and that may be true for as long as Lukashenko is in power. That's why the crossing by Lithuania and Latvia isn't even considered when, in fact, it would be the best way to settle down everything permanently as the future of Belarus is still uncertain.

Would a democratic Belarus choose not to join the EU? I doubt it.

To what extent is this approach, in the last 2 years or so, between Putin and Lukashenko related to the EU enlargement? Isn't Lukashenko 'helping' the Russian side? Isn't he 'useful' for Putin and the Russian interests? We already know that he has Putin's support...

Belarus is the last European dictatorship. In the medium or long term won't it become a democratic country? Won't they eventually join the EU? Won't we need those trains crossing 2 countries instead of just one? And even if they don't join the EU what prevents them from only allowing people with visas to cross the country? Don't they have the right to impose a strict visa policy? What do you suppose Russia would do to Belarus or to Lukashenko if he decided de didn't want to join Russia in a federation and imposed a strict visa policy just like the EU does?

We (supposedly a democratic country) are supporting a dictatorship. Nothing we haven't done before, but a change would be nice wouldn't it? And how can the Russian government have the nerve to talk about human rights? How can they say that it's against human rights to ask permission to another country to travel from Kaliningrad to Russia when we support Lukashenko?

About the trains. It appears that Putin's idea is to have sealed trains doing the trip. Sounds interesting if we take into account that was the way the Nazi Germany used to move the Jews, Polish, Russians and other prisoners from one place to another and Kaliningrad was a German territory back then...

Human dignity? Where's the dignity in travelling in sealed trains like we were some dangerous criminals?

Civil liberties? Are we helping promoting them in Belarus?

Besides, for how long will it take before the average Russian citizen can afford to travel by car from Kaliningrad to the Mainland? Don't many of us do that already? Isn't it easier? So why spend money on high speed sealed trains if it will be temporary? The EU is even willing to issue free 5-year visas!

Ralitsa Zaitseva

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