Longtime supporter of multi-vector foreign policy Alexander Lukashenko still waited for a kind word from the United States. The country, which has been pressing Belarus with various sanctions for the last fifteen years, in the person of state Department representative George Kent praised the leadership of the Republic for not recognizing Crimea, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
This week, the “Lieutenant” of the us foreign Minister visited Minsk, where after the official program, including negotiations with a number of government officials and meetings with opposition figures, he gave an interview to one of the local publications. In it, Kent touched not only on the prospects for the development of Belarusian-American relations, answered the question of what threat Belarus poses to Russia, but also broke out a laudatory speech to the Belarusian leader for his non-recognition of “Russian jurisdiction over the Crimea”, as well as the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.It is noteworthy that the praise from the state Department sounded just after Lukashenka’s recent explanations that he has not recognized the Crimea until now, because it “will not change anything”. But this position of Belarus allegedly allows it to effectively act as a mediator.
Indeed, in December 2017, the Belarusian delegation refused to vote in the UN for the Ukrainian resolution “on human rights in Crimea”. But this, perhaps, was the only case when Minsk was on the side of Moscow in the “Crimean issue” on the international platform.And now the principled position of Alexander Grigorievich has finally received approval from Washington.
Moreover, George Kent has made it clear that if the Belarusian authorities allow Freedom day to be Held in the Republic on March 25, it will be regarded in the White house as another step forward to lifting the sanctions.
Freedom day is considered an unofficial holiday of restoration of the Belarusian statehood. In fact, this is a real coven of all nationalist forces that like to March under the slogan ” Death to the Kremlin occupiers!»
Comment on what are the “good words” of the American envoy, and why Belarus is pushed, in fact, on the “Ukrainian rails”, ” JV ” asked the leading researcher of The Russian Institute for strategic studies (RISI), historian and political scientist Oleg Nemensky:
That is, he said that he recognizes Crimea as the territory of Russia de facto, but not de jure. And he even expressed readiness to consider the recognition of Crimea, as well as the independence of those republics, but for some compensation from Russia. From a practical point of view, this is quite understandable, since such a step by Minsk will bring a serious deterioration in relations with the West and, perhaps, a new strengthening of the sanctions policy against Belarus, which will cause serious damage to the Republic.
In principle, Belarus is guided by the model of a neutral state pursuing a multi-vector policy. Neutrality is recorded as the goal of foreign policy in the Constitution of the Republic, but this goal has not yet been fulfilled due to the fact that Belarus is a member of the CSTO.However, Minsk is really doing everything possible to strengthen its image as a neutral country, and to increase its capacity to pursue a multi-vector policy. Approximately the same on model of policy which was carried out by Ukraine at the President Kuchma.
“SP”: — Can we say in this regard that Belarus is on the way of Ukraine?
The path of Ukraine is not closed to it, and the West is trying to persuade Belarus to such a course. Including through humanitarian policy.
Unlike Russia, the West places special emphasis on humanitarian policy, including the legalization of the ultra-nationalist version of state patriotism. And, in General, does not hide its goals in this regard. Which manifests itself in such public statements.
I think that such a policy can be quite effective for the West. But it is very dangerous for the future of the Belarusian statehood.
The Ukrainian way of development, as we see, is destructive for society, for the economy, and for the state of Ukraine as a whole. For Belarus, not having their serious resource base, in contrast to Ukraine, he is, the more destructive.
“SP”:-If Belarus still goes on nationalist tracks, what does it mean for Russia and Russian-Belarusian relations? And can we not repeat here the mistakes that we made in Ukraine? No doubt, the Belarusian nationalism is a ticking time bomb under the Russian-Belarusian relations. Therefore, the prospect of its legalization and strengthening its influence on the state ideology is really very dangerous.
But now it is difficult to say how Russian-Belarusian relations will develop, as they are now in a kind of “bifurcation point” (a brief moment when the system can change the regime in unpredictable ways — approx.)
Development options, in fact, were formulated by Prime Minister Medvedev in December last year. And so far Minsk is definitely inclined to choose a conservative scenario. While Russia’s interests consist in a significant deepening of the integration processes between our countries.
But for the future of our integration, the legalization of Belarusian nationalism, which is sought by Western countries, is really a huge danger.
“SP”: — recently Lukashenka accused Moscow that the cooperation of Belarus with the West makes her hysterical and “some kind of Allergy”. Have we ever reproached Minsk at the official level for its attempts to get closer to the West?
Of course, there is such a prospect, but I very much doubt that it is possible under Lukashenka. After all, Lukashenka definitely wants to adhere to a multi — vector policy — the policy of balancing between Russia and the West-and there are quite a few practical justifications for such a course.
Yes, of course, not everything can suit Russia in Minsk’s relations with the West. But I don’t think there have been any bans or any pullbacks from the Russian side on the development of these relations. And you can hardly imagine them.
I repeat: I very much doubt that the relations between Belarus and the West under Lukashenka were able to achieve any such forms, which caused, indeed, the need to Express serious concern on the part of the Russian Federation. That is, the forms to which Ukraine’s relations with the West have reached.”SP”: — the Problem is that Lukashenka, even if he is elected for the sixth term, cannot be at the helm forever. And here the question arises: do we have a strategy in case he leaves?
— I think it’s too early to talk about it, because Lukashenka’s departure from power is not expected in the foreseeable future. He’s a pretty strong position.
Moreover, I think that the West will recognize Lukashenka’s victory in the next re-election and will most likely develop constructive relations with Belarus. As in the West now won the reverse line of the one that he adhered to for many years before. So to speak, the West is now working not to organize the overthrow of Lukashenka, but to work with him and involve the current regime in the most possible forms of cooperation.