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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blackmail Russia threat for the Belarusian economy

Alexander Lukashenko, whose relations with the Kremlin lately become considerably more complicated, suddenly said that what is happening now in Ukraine is not a civil war, a “war for independence”. Apparently, from Russia. With attacks on the Russian Federation “dad” is trying to win an argument with her energy. But it is obvious that the result will be the opposite.

Alexander Lukashenko is like the visible part of the Belarusian and some part of the Russian people for the candor in his statements. Sometimes, of course, was quite a successful formula, like the memorable “the Belarusians will live poorly, but not for long”, but generally “father” owns and oratory says exactly what he wants to say. Speaking to academics in Minsk, he wanted to say the following:

“There are such children, the lack of reaction from adults encourages to storm the boundaries of the acceptable”

“Our independence is very cheap to get: all peoples have fought, are fighting our brotherly Ukraine. We should not be allowed to fight. We the people are peace-loving. Perhaps God set before us by these heavy tasks, we felt that such independence. To overcome this we can, only having United. And, thank God, the main direction of our struggle for independence is passing through the economy – not military, not political.”

Thus, after Kiev propaganda of the President of Belarus, which are still included in the unified Russian Federal government, called the civil war in the Donbass war for the independence of Ukraine.

However, the official Kiev propaganda to such claims comes rarely, usually limited to baseless statements about “Russian aggression”. So the Belarusian President consciously made the Ukrainian propagandists luxurious gift, which would be foolish not to take advantage – say, even from Minsk it is seen that in the Donbass heroic Ukrainian soldiers bombed the sleeping city, and fighting for the country’s independence, is threatened by a dangerous enemy.

Thus the term “mass” in relation to today’s Ukraine is a legitimate question – why Minsk is then included in a Union state with Moscow, not Kiev? And if Belarus wants economic independence from Russia, then why claim to a special relationship in the framework of the Union state and is constantly drawn to Moscow for credits and benefits? Finally, is Lukashenka does not see that the cost of Ukraine “economic independence” from Russia, a path that began with the signing until the end and not ratified the Association agreement with the European Union?

Another thing is that the statement was not the first and likely not the last in a series of anti-Russian statements and actions of the Belarusian leadership.

Recall that some experts have expressed grave fears for the fate of Russian-Belarusian relations back in April of last year, when Minsk adopted a new military doctrine, which had established a ban on the use of troops abroad. Belarus is a member of the CSTO, so that the fears then expressed not only Russian, but also, for example, the Armenian experts. In fact, such a doctrine is contrary to the commitments undertaken by Belarus in the CSTO.

The decision on the issue of Russian and Israeli citizen Alexander Lapshin Azerbaijan, incidentally, is also not only anti-Russian and anti-Israeli, but anti-Armenian, after all, Baku has made Lapshin in the black list due to the fact that he visited Nagorno-Karabakh. “The incident Lapshin” is generally unprecedented for States that are formally allies. It is difficult to imagine that Canada or any other NATO member, gave an American citizen, say, in Nicaragua, and for an act which is not criminal in any country in the world, except that which calls for his extradition.

Against this background, anachronistic look of the words of the Chairman of the house of representatives National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko, who said that the Belarusian and Russian parliamentarians should “act more vigorously and in solidarity” to respond to everything that hinders the integration of the two countries. “Summer in Minsk will pass session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia. And now we have to work seriously on its agenda. At the last session we identified the main pain points in the bilateral relationship, enlisted the support of our Russian colleagues, that we will be together more vigorously and in solidarity to respond to everything that hinders integration”, – said Andreychenko.

Now integrate explicitly prevent the statements of the Belarusian President and the Belarusian court, but no “energetic and solidary” reaction of parliamentarians for some reason not observed.

Recall that unfriendly statements and actions of Lukashenka caused by a very banal reason – lack of agreement on oil supplies from Russia and arrangements for pumping Russian oil and gas onward to Europe through the territory of Belarus. That is, when Lukashenka said that “the main direction of our struggle for independence is passing through the economy,” he is not disingenuous. Indeed, Minsk, as Kiev wants to obtain raw materials from Russia at the lowest price, and payment for transit is at the maximum. That’s what they understand “independence”.

But if Ukraine and Kravchuk and Kuchma, and Yushchenko, and Yanukovych – in the event of a dispute limited only to economic measures, Lukashenka regularly “signals” about their dissatisfaction in political language. For example, he arrested the top Manager of Uralkali Vladislav Baumgertner, making it, in essence, held hostage in the economic dispute of the Belarusian state with the Russian shareholders of the company.

Russia is reacting to all this quite gently. According to some experts, far too soft. Something that reminds the unexpected reaction of Vladimir Putin at the farewell greetings from Barack Obama, the US expelled three dozen Russian diplomats. But in the case of Obama it was about the “lame duck”, accept that can not be serious. Lukashenko is not going to go anywhere, and his initiative “to bring the average salary in the country up to $ 500”, which in Belarus to broadcast each of iron, has called the election.

It is possible that ignoring his statements from the Russian authorities is an attempt to insinuate that respond to blackmail Russia will not, and economic differences need to be solved in dedicated negotiations. But while such neglect only whet the Belarusian leader. There are such children, the lack of reaction from adults encourages to storm the boundaries of the acceptable.

Meanwhile, it is obvious that the Belarusian economy without the Russian market and Russian energy resources is unsustainable, and wait for assistance from the European Union, mired in internal problems and not knowing what to do with Ukraine, is not necessary.

Still, Alexander Lukashenko is not a child and an adult, an experienced politician who needs to understand that relations with Russia even small blackmail can turn into big problems.

Russia may at any time to grant Belarus full “economic independence”, but hardly in this case, the average salary in the country will exceed the current Ukrainian $ 200.


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