Arkady Moshes, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs | May 19, 2008
Over the last 14 years, Lukashenko has secured Minsk's sovereignty, improved the wealth of the population, and raised the interest of European investors. ++ Yet these achievements mask rampant corruption and lack of democracy. ++ Since both Soviet times and the era of Eastern European autocracies are over, Belarus needs real reforms. ++ Unchallenged, Lukashenko may remain in power but he must adapt to enable his regime to "go down in the history of Belarus as a long phase of transition from a Soviet republic to a European state."