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JUNE 2020

Belarusian Gambit: Lukashenko’s Contradictions With Russia Are Growing

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Belarusian Gambit: Lukashenko's Contradictions With Russia Are Growing

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues employing his ‘restraint’ policy Russia.

In an interview with the Echo of Moscow Radio, Lukashenko said that he is not happy with the current state of oil and gas negotiations with Russia. According to him, the gas price proposed by the Russian government is too high. So, Belarus will seek ‘alternatives’.

“How am I capricious? Because I am negotiating instead of bargaining right now? I didn’t want these matters elevated to the level of the presidents [the matter of tighter integration, which was discussed during several meetings of Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin]. I’ve often criticized the Russian government for forcing the presidents to deal with these matters. Now on New Year’s eve we are starting to quarrel instead of having a meeting with my close friend Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, drinking a shot of vodka or moonshine (I will bring some from Belovezhskaya Pushcha), and shaking hands. Story of my life today! How can one keep economy straight if we are told that the price for natural gas has to be $152?”

Lukashenko said that if Belarus accepts the natural gas price Russia pushes for, it will have to seek alternative supplies.

“I will do exactly the same: I will seek an alternative (I will have to do it anyway). I am not hiding it from Russia’s leadership,” the president said.

Reverse gas supplies from Poland were named as one of the options. Earlier, Ukraine used same option buying de-facto Russian gas from Poland under increased prices in order to avoid making buisiness with the Kremlin.

It should be noted  that Belarus has always received energy resources from Russia under very low prices and discounts. The current Belarus government describes any slightest increase in energy prices as a threat to its ‘national intersts’ and a ‘unfriendly move’. Desptie this, Minsk is not very interesting in showing any kind of similar ‘friendly appraoch’ in diplomatic sphere. During the past years, Belarus has declined  to support Russia in some sensetive questions, like the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia, and tried to keep a ‘neutral’ position in the conflict in Ukraine. Some influential EU politicians even described Belarus as a prospective candidate for the EU membership.

In the same interview, Lukashenko recalled his stance towards an implementation of the long agreed in the framework of the Union State agreement with Russia.

The agreement was reached in 1996 under the name of  “The Commonwealth of Belarus and Russia”. Later the name was changed into the Union State. It provides a legal basis for the creation of a supranational union consisting of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. However, the Belarusian leadership intentionally delays the implementation of the agreement because it fears to loss a part of its political infuence as well as an oppotunity to blackmail Russia with ‘prospects’ of cooperation with the EU, the US and NATO.

Commenting on the deeper integration, Lukashenko said that the West and NATO would see a forceful attempt to join the two countries as a threat and stand up to Russia.

If Russia tries to violate our sovereignty as some people say, you know how the global community will respond; they will be drawn into a war,” Lukashenko said. “The West and NATO won’t tolerate that because they would see it as a threat to themselves. In that sense, they would be right.”

The December 24 interview was not the first or rare case when the Belarusian President publicly criticized Russia and threatened it with plans to find ‘better allies’.

In November 2019, Lukashenko stated that his country wants to get Russian Su-30SM fighter jets for free despite that Belarus reportedly buys warplanes on credit. Lukashenko claimed that his country performs part of the duty to defend Russia from the west and criticized Moscow for its unwillingness to co-finance the delivery of Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft to Belarus.

In Summer 2017, Belarus’ Defense Ministry said that Minsk would buy 12 Su-30SM fighter aircraft from Russia to update its Air Force’s fleet. The first two aircraft arrived in Belarus on November 13, 2019.

At the moment Russia is supplying military equipment to its partners at domestic rather than export prices. Nonetheless, the already significant cost reduction appeared to be for the leader of Belarus. According to Vedomosti newspaper’s sources, Lukashenko just wanted to get advanced jets for free.

Furthermore, if Russia makes an exception for Belarus, it will offend other Collective Security Treaty Organization partners. Such a move will set a precedent for price reviews for other countries, Vedomosti notes.

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  • usa=nazi

    poland pays about $250-$300 for russian gas (thanks to their stupid rusophobe governments) and is paying the diffrence for bandera-nazi ukrops (they probably not paying at all) to satisfy its vassal uSSrael.

    so good luck Lukashenko, youre becoming greedy and stupid

    btw nazi-american “freedom gas” is more expensive loco usa, not including liquifing/transport/re-gasing so good luck with bussiness…

    • Z.P.

      I think you got it wrong.
      It is his bread and butter, the Russian subsidizing.
      That was so ever since USSR that Belarus,Ukraine and all the “stan’s”(Kazakhstan and others) were living their lives.
      Ukraine even now wants subsidizing for gas also.
      Subsidizing was the reason why that WHORE Lukashenko was success in Belarus and got peace in Belarus and control of society all those years . Despite many attempts of the West to remove him.
      His survival as dictator of Belarus depends on subsidies and on rejecting closer integration with Russia.
      That’s why he is slowing integration and refusing removal of subsidies.
      And he can’t turn to the West any more because they want to remove him, kill him or chase him away like they did with Yanukovich . And that bastard knows that.

  • RGtz98

    Why has Belarus becomed more ‘reluctant’ lately ? I mean most ex-soviet republics have firstly Ukraine and Baltic now Kazhastán and Belarús…

    • Rhodium 10

      all of them want money from Russia!..

    • Mikael

      Those come from communist era and its way of life . Those stand with the ones who pay better and never learn from history not remembering that the ones who buy them will eliminate them as soon as possible eith somebody that stand with the buyers for ideology .

  • Rhodium 10

    Belarus is part of Russia like Crimea….Russian should not allow blackmail them like Ukraine style!..it is to sell its territory to NATO in exchange of financial credits!..so therefore in that case Russian tanks division will send to Minsk and end of the problem!

    • Z.P.

      True Belarus should be integral part of Russia
      But formally it is not any longer after Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s betrayal.

      ” sell its territory to NATO in exchange of financial credits”
      Lukashenko can’t do that simply because West wants Belarus but not Lukashenko.
      Since only Lukashenko decides which direction Belarus takes.
      There will be no “sale” of territory.
      He only blackmails Putin with NATO and West but he can’t change sides like hi did before.. And Putin knows his bluff.
      Things have changed for worse after Maidan and what happened to Yanukovich
      Putin understands new situation
      Yet Lukashenko still resists to preserve his dictatorial throne and power

      • AM Hants

        Not forgetting, Ukraine, back in 1997 could not join NATO, owing to not ratifying her borders with Russia, in a cordance with international law, since the fall of the Soviet Union, back in 1991. It is the same with Belarus. The borders are only recognised whilst all 3 nations are members of the CIS. Even the United Nations has confirmed the fact, whether Soros likes it or not.

        • Z.P.

          So true and well put. Your comments are always appropriate and helpful.
          Thank you AM.
          But I think that US would come up with some “legal” monkey business when it comes to that.
          Like they did with Kosovo by calling that “self proclamation” of their independence as EXCEPTION (to the rule). Thus valid only for them and nowhere else. And it is so because US say so.
          I don’t think that to be very big problem for them. Croatia,Slovenia and many others never existed and they had no problem to destroy Yugoslavia to recognize them.

          Much bigger problem is how to make “Maidan” in Belarus.
          Because Lukhashenko is infinitely more shrewd, inteligent and infinitely more glued to his dictatorial presidency than Yanukovich was.
          There are very few Belarus neo-NAZI’s and influence of Catholic church is limited.
          No Jewish oligarchs (like in Russia) either.
          Lukashenko is by far the biggest oligarch there. No NGO’s that are not tightly controlled either.
          So CIA, MI6, BMD and others lack instruments for another color revolution.
          And they can’t ask or expect help from Lukashenko since he now knows that he is their main target.
          Merry Christmas and all the best for holidays.

          • AM Hants

            Do believe they have move NED in, to try and get it up and running. Hopefully, thye true story of what happened with Ukraine, will come to closure before then.

          • AM Hants

            Ps, thanks for the kind words.

  • goingbrokes

    I think we are witnessing the effects of covert pressure from the West.