Belarusian Leader Has Harsh Words For Russia, West -- And Warning For Moscow
Yet, though both Lukashenko and Putin appear strikingly similar, the relationship between "Europe's last dictator" and the Russian president. Throughout his year rule president Alexander Lukashenko has traditionally held close political, economic and military ties with Russia. they're trapped in a no-win situation: if Lukashenko cows to Moscow, Belarus could. For all their differences, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko are cut from the same cloth.
While the president might talk of the independence of Belarus, what kind of independence is that? Independence is when the constitution is in effect. Lukashenko has been in breach of the constitution, according to which Belarus is a neutral country, for a long time. Constitutionally, Belarus should not hold joint drills with Russia; however, Lukashenko does everything that Putin demands of him.
How long will the Lukashenko regime continue to reign in Belarus, and what would happen were the power to shift?
Putin and Lukashenko Are Using Each Other
It will last for as long as Russia supports Lukashenko. The Russification of Belarus under Lukashenko will continue for as long. The illegitimate president, who remains in power by falsifying election results, is anti-Belarusian, and it is very difficult to fight what he is doing.
There is very little hope things will change in Belarus before Russia becomes a democratic country, as our gigantic neighbor is supporting the current regime. We have an open border with Russia that spans 1, kilometers. Russian influence is very hard to resist. Look if only at the Zapad drills. In normal countries, military ranks are bestowed upon highly educated and experienced officers, while what we have is a circus — Lukashenko just gave all governors the rank of general.
Now, they will put on their uniforms and play their part in the performance. The West needs to be shown that Belarus is a peace-loving country with a strong military that is prepared to fight NATO.
It is probable he has not read documents pertaining to NATO or been briefed on it. Lukashenko cannot even understand what NATO is. NATO has been a defensive alliance since its creation the main principle of which is that aggression against one member is aggression against all members.
You said that the regime in Belarus will not change until Russia does. How long will Putin continue to rule Russia?VIRAL: Hilarious Russian trailer "The Expendables" feat. Putin, Obama, Assad, Lavrov and Lukashenko
It is very difficult to forecast. Looking back, we can speculate such a regime cannot last very long. The Russian people love freedom; however, the gigantic propaganda machine has everyone fooled. It is very difficult for the ordinary person to withstand massive propaganda.
I love Russia, I am a Russophile. I believe there are a lot of people who share that view in Belarus. I have visited Estonia many times. If the Kremlin propaganda tries to show Estonians are treating Russians poorly and discriminating against them, it is not what I have seen. Kremlin propaganda is nonsense. The West has laid down sanctions against Russia. Are they having any effect?
Sanctions undoubtedly have an effect, and people in Russia must suffer from the effects of a cold war for the second time. If the law states a person cannot be punished for the same offense twice, Russians are being punished for the actions of their rulers for the second time today.
Is there anyone in Russia who could become the new Yeltsin? However, look at how they are being isolated. Look at what was done to Alexei Navalny. What is the situation of the opposition in Belarus? Most Belarusians want to forget about the regime and go about their daily lives. People hold on to their jobs and avoid dealing with politics.
I believe that if that majority was to actively oppose the regime, things could change quickly. Could Belarus see something similar to the Maidan in Kiev? There were protests bigger than the Maidan in Belarus seven years ago. Around 70, people, far more than were in the Maidan, took to the streets after the election. However, the system was prepared. The militia dispersed the demonstration. Did you know that Belarus has seven times the militiamen per resident today than it did during the Soviet period?
The militia was ready, resistance was crushed, demonstrators were beaten and taken away. There was a demonstration against Zapad in the center of Minsk a few days ago. The militia were there; however, demonstrators were not touched and were allowed to leave. What is this lenient attitude a sign of? The demonstration went peacefully as it was held in front of Western diplomats. Besides, it was not a big crowd. The authorities have different methods; it is not always necessary to beat the crowd back.
The militia take pictures of demonstrators do deal with them personally at a later time. A good example of this is one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition Mikola Stankevich who is always put in prison whenever the opposition is doing something.
Such is the Belarusian method for handling the opposition, and, unfortunately, that system also works well.
Is Belarus and Russia's 'brotherly love' coming to an end?
You live in a rather modest apartment. What are the social guarantees for former presidents in Belarus? Former heads of state have social guarantees in civilized countries. Belarus used to have a substantial pension for former presidents that guaranteed subsistence. Lukashenko had the law repealed.
Former president of Belarus: Lukashenko is Putin’s slave - Estonian news
Lukashenko is a person of modest education who makes decisions based on emotions. For some time after, it was rumored that Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin would ultimately buy the company.
However, around that time, businessmen close to then-president Dmitry Medvedev began gaining political power. According to former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, under the oversight of Dmitri Medvedev, Uralkali was sold to Suleyman Kerimov, a Dagestani businessman who had already gained considerable influence.
Borodin himself was at that time seeking political asylum in Great Britain in the context of a campaign against the Bank of Moscow, the shares in which Vneshtorgbank purchased after the dismissal of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
Kerimov is known as a portfolio investor rather than a strategic one. He invests money in attractive projects, uses these to build large, vertically integrated holdings, and then looks for a strategic investor for them.
Ina merger agreement was signed between Uralkali and the potash producer Silvinit. There were plans to sell the newly merged business to a foreign investor: Suleyman Kerimov was looking for investment opportunities, while Alexander Lukashenko was seeking cheap loans. Along with Uralkali, Kerimov got a joint enterprise: The BPC once accounted for 43 percent of global potash sales.
The effect of the economic crisis was then rather acute; Kerimov was looking for investment opportunities, while Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was seeking cheap loans. Meanwhile, Russian companies wanted to take part in the privatization of Belarusian enterprises. Kerimov wanted to acquire Belaruskali; however, a price agreement was never reached. Since then, conflict within BPC as well as between Belarusian authorities and Kerimov has been increasing.
The Belarusian side was annoyed that Uralkali effectively controlled both potash export and marketing. This marked the beginning of an open conflict.
What Exactly Is Going on Between Russia and Belarus?
Belaruskali tried to sell its products independently of BPC and Uralkali, although not very successfully: Six months later, Kerimov, too, lost patience. Joint sales had reduced the competition between potash producers to zero and kept potash prices high. In Julythe Uralkali management declared that the company would sell its products on its own, and at dumping prices. In effect, internal competition was created. At first it looked like the Belarusian side was [merely] pressuring its Russian partner in order to obtain preferences in our internal negotiations, which happens from time to time but always has a working nature.
The Russian businessmen who entered into this joint enterprise overlooked just one thing: