Александр Лукашенко и Владимир Путин в Сочи 14 сентября  2020 года

Александр Лукашенко и Владимир Путин в Сочи 14 сентября 2020 года

As for Lukashenko, the problem seems clear: the leader (no longer legitimate in the eyes of his own people) resorts to the last resource - a complete transition to Putin's protectorate - the best of the worst, in his opinion. Hence the rhetoric and unusual style of behavior during the voyage: the West is testing a plan for seven stages of the scenario for the "destruction of Belarus". Therefore, the country needs to stick closer with the "elder brother" and continue cooperation on all issues. The events in Belarus are a very serious lesson (which Moscow and Minsk survived) not only for Russia and Belarus, but also for the post-Soviet republics. If Belarus collapses, the same will happen with Russia. Lukashenko had to endure that the Belarusian president was met only by the local governor, and that he had to wait for his colleague for almost three hours. In the context of a very long break in relations with the West, Russia is turning into the main and only factor of political and economic stability, despite Lukashenko's shift from a firm position on integration (often-called absorption) of the political and economic spheres of the two states.

His opponent, the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, managed to declare, “I want to remind Vladimir Putin: whatever you accept and whatever you agree on during the meeting in Sochi, it will have no legal force. All agreements signed with the illegitimate Lukashenko will be reviewed by the new government. Because the Belarusian people refused Lukashenko's trust and support at the elections."

Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the creation of a full-blooded union state is constantly fading in both states. In the eyes of the Russian people, integration and a possible war in support of it only means an increase in the tax burden. Even in January 2020, only 13% of Russians supported plans to strengthen the Russia-Belarus alliance by uniting the leadership. Another 10% believed that Belarus should become part of Russia (the majority was in favor of deepening economic, but not political cooperation).

The same Svetlana Tikhanovskaya addressed the population of the neighboring country: “Dear Russians! Your taxes will be paid for our beatings. We are sure you would not want that. This may prolong Lukashenko's agony, but he will not be able to prevent the victory of the people”.

Analysts believe that the “unification” will provoke a sanctions reaction from the West and a new surge of street protests, since this political step will refute Putin's main maxim: “Let the Belarusian people decide where to go next, so no one should interfere in these events.” But this rejection is not of integration in itself, but of its forms, because Moscow has invested $ 130 billion in the economy of the fraternal republic, Minsk is an active participant in the CSTO and the EAEU, without which Russia's authority will sharply (if not critically) decline both in the world and in the post-Soviet space.

The joint military exercises planned for 2021, which (according to Putin) will be held almost every month on the territory of both countries, could be a good help for the gradual military deployment in Belarus and the creation of Russian bases.

As you can see, there are many scenarios for the development of further events, and one should think carefully before taking specific steps. That is why, as one might expect, at the meeting, Putin tried to find answers to two questions: to what extent does Lukashenka govern the country, that is, whether he has a political future and what price he is willing to pay for it.

Emmanuel Grinshpan (15.09.20, Le Temps) believes that Moscow welcomes the constitutional reform, believing that thanks to it, it will be able to “settle in Belarus through one or more political parties, through its presence in parliament and in local government. Moscow will try to replace Lukashenko only after his presidential prerogatives are transferred to other institutions. "

All the events are taking place with the almost complete confusion of the European Union and D. Trump's rather cool attitude to the fate of democracy in Belarus. One cannot say that there is no reaction, verbal lace is diligently woven in the old and new Western world, but the matter does not come to concrete actions yet. Even the idea of ​​imposing sanctions specifically against Lukashenka runs into fears that in this case "there will be no one to negotiate with."

 Under these conditions, the confrontation between Lukashenko and the protesters can be driven into such a crisis that one of the parties' withdrawal from it will be associated with radical actions, after which the confrontation will lose its current unusually attractive character. It is hard to believe that the situation in Belarus itself can develop into a civil war, but it cannot be ruled out that the country will be artificially led to this by forces that have their own interests in the growth of tension.

“How to call a situation in which the president remains in power almost entirely due to the state’s ability to repress? The name for this is occupation, says Gould-Davis, the former British ambassador to Belarus. This is what Belarusians open their eyes to. During the years of the Second World War, Belarusians have learned well the effective measures to combat the occupation, having paid for this with the lives of over a quarter of the country's population. Today, while the "occupier" is only one demand of the people, it is simple: "all without one" - "all without Lukashenko."

Some observers, while emphasizing the unprecedented scale of the protests for the CIS countries and their unique nature, at the same time admit that for success the opposition forces lack some of the components that led to the change of power in other countries. Columnist Michael Tuman (11.09.20, Die Zeit) summarizes these elements and summarizes them in support of the army, foreign support and effective organization. Maybe this is precisely what the success and duration of the Belarusian movement consists in, that there are no political forces in it that are capable (and have the opportunity) to promote their own interests, there are no acting external players. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the Belarusian protest movement is often called “female” taking into account the role of women in the events.


In the current circumstances, Putin's main fear is that the chain wave of the Belarusian revolution may spill over to Russia, which is going through extremely unfavorable times. Therefore, in the event of the collapse of the Belarusian movement towards the West (which is still regarded as an unlikely event), Russia may decide on a military intervention. Another, more likely scenario is the reduction of domestic Russian discontent, infected by the example of its neighbors, by means of a "little war", which has already been repeatedly resorted to. The pretext can be the role of Belarus in the defense doctrine of Russia, which considers this country an outpost to contain the West. Therefore, Lukashenko is a “lame duck” and he will not lose his limp until the very end of his political career. Putin will have to solve a difficult question: how long can you close your eyes to the Belarusian movement, which threatens to spill over to Russia. At least until the beginning of next year (unless extraordinary events occur), the United States will not interfere in the Belarusian events.

Under these conditions, the EU will unwittingly assume the role of a mediator, which will have to solve the very difficult task of organizing negotiations between the authorities and the opposition in Belarus with the tacit or open consent of Russia.  As you know, balanced forecasts in the CIS will never come true, so an eccentric is not excluded.


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