BelarusAlertSep 15, 2020
The EU’s “grave concern” will not help Belarus
By Franak Viačorka
The Belarus crisis has exposed the EU's foreign policy limitations, but a tougher European Union response could still succeed in bringing Belarusian dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka to the negotiating table.
Franak Viačorka is a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, a journalist from Belarus, and an advisor to Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. He previously worked as a research media analyst for the US Agency for Global Media as a contractor focusing on Eurasia’s digital markets. His research focused on Russian and Chinese efforts to control the global media space, spread disinformation, and build the sovereign internet infrastructure. He has served as a creative director for the Belarus service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), vice president for the Digital Communication Network, consultant for Freedom House, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Viačorka is a frequent speaker and advocate for democracy and personal freedom. For his activism and journalism work in Belarus, he was jailed multiple times by the Belarusian government. Viačorka’s activism in Belarus has been chronicled by documentary filmmakers and recognized by many international organizations, including the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and Open Society Foundations. He was the first Václav Havel Fellow at RFE/RL under Havel’s personal recommendation.
He graduated with an MA from American University in Washington DC and a BA from Warsaw University in Poland. He also studied at Belarus State University, Georgetown University, and European Humanities University.