Belarus-Russia: conflict opportunistic or systematic?

Society on these topics in the "Prague accent" discuss: from Minsk — the head of analytical projects information company "BelaPAN" Alexander Klaskouski and editor in chief of the newspaper "Sovetskaya Belarus — Belarus Today" Pavel Yakubovich, from Moscow — Director of the International Institute of Political Expertise Evgeny Minchenko.

Drakakhrust: Why the Belarusian-Russian relations reached during the week almost the peak sharpness? In the seven days missed and press conference Alexander Lukashenko and Dmitry Medvedev video message, and the statements of Parliaments, and, finally, a demonstration of the fourth series of "Godfather" on NTV.

Critical moments occurred in the bilateral relations in the past, but the present conflict, it seems major revision entire range of bilateral relations. Why the parties or one of them, did it? Or, as the Russian proverb says, "cute curse, is upset."

Jakubowicz: I think it was really the peak and the parties are now back to a calm tone and continue the long-standing debate about prices, cubic meters, barrels and all kind of prose, which is much more important than anything else. The arguments put forward, the tone was as high, and now, I think, will total outflow, it will be possible of what is called a constructive dialogue.

It was really a rush, and the parties are now back to a calm tone …

Drakakhrust: At the earlier stages of the conflict seemed that Russia is seeking to certain specific purposes: steps towards Minsk in matters of the Customs Union, CSTO, and access to the privatization of Belarusian enterprises. But it seems that the video address by President Medvedev, redo the movie "The Godfather" — evidence that the Kremlin wants no concessions on specific issues, and surrender. At the same time these steps Moscow takes on greater responsibility if after a few months of such charges will begin meeting again, shaking hands, friendly smiles, the Russian leadership will look like weaklings. So what are the goals set by the Russian side, in a sense burning bridges?

Inhabitant: I think what is happening with the Russian side — it is a reaction to the attempt of Alexander Lukashenko has campaigned on an anti-Russian rhetoric, make an enemy of Russia. I believe that in this situation the main culprits — these are the people in the administration of the President of Belarus, Lukashenko who pushed it to such a development campaign. The purposeful alignment of an enemy of Russia, to which Russia gave cruel, you can argue whether or not adequate, the answer.

What is now happening with the Russian side — it is a reaction to the attempt Lukashenko has campaigned on an anti-Russian rhetoric …

DrakakhrustEugene, I will suspend you. But in Belarus, it is sometimes treated differently. The first tape "The Godfather" came to the campaign. Companies have not been, "godfathers" have already been.

Inhabitant: In the words of a classic political technologies of our time, Vladimir Putin, the election campaign begins the day after the previous one. In fact, the campaign Lukashenko began sometime in May or June of this year. It has not been officially announced by the company, but then essentially the mobilization of the electorate under the anti-Russian slogans. It's a conversation for the benefit of the poor, there was declared a campaign or not. There was a surge of anti-Russian rhetoric. And so was the response from Russia, as it was clear that this was done under the presidential election.

In fact, the campaign Lukashenko began sometime in May or June of this …

DrakakhrustEugene, if I've understood you correctly, what you like and Pavel Yakubovich, only from different perspectives believe that it is "someone who loves order and chubit that" it does not have the choice of a new concept of relations with Belarus.

InhabitantNo, I do not think so. In Russia now has a new approach: we are for friendship, we are for cooperation, but there are limits. There is no such thing to pay another, and another, and another. It is perceived as the behavior of Lukashenka: agreed, and then begins the new bargaining agreement again — again, there's some new terms. In Russia, Lukashenko is perceived as an unreliable partner, as a man who always tries to blackmail by balancing and beat out for themselves more and more, according to the Russian leadership, unreasonable preferences.

In Russia, Lukashenko is perceived as an unreliable partner …

It is clear that in this election there is no serious alternative to Lukashenka, unlike the last Ukrainian presidential election, where there were two alternatives that satisfy Russia — Tymoshenko and Yanukovych and Yushchenko did not satisfy only.

In Belarus, it is not, but what is happening now, it is a signal and Lukashenko and the Belarusian bureaucracy that need to change our approach and style.

I agree with you that after what happened, kisses, hugs, a pat on the back will be gone. But I believe that the relationship between our two countries can bring to a positive, pragmatic level.

DrakakhrustAlexander, do you agree that in fact it is opportunistic in conflict: something was unhappy Minsk than Moscow, and that they thus their discontent and slop. Or the cause of something else?

Klaskouski: Another reason. I absolutely do not agree that it is opportunistic in the conflict. It is a conflict system, it is a crisis

I absolutely do not agree that it is opportunistic in the conflict. It is a conflict system, it is a crisis model of "brotherly integration" …

model of "brotherly integration." I take this phrase in quotation marks, as this model was initially false, each side trying to snatch something, something "fuck" in Russian speaking. But it did not. Diamond cut diamond. I totally disagree with the way it was applied in the video blog, Medvedev and the Duma in a statement that Lukashenko, they say, made a "trick" his campaign, anti-Russian rhetoric, and we have to respond.

This is absolutely wrong and historically and to the point. Lukashenko is not as adventurous policies "to tease the bear" campaign for PR. Some "Present the" have been even earlier. It all started after 11 June, when Lukashenko flew to Moscow, he returned sad and rolled. Started the gas war with scanty accounts, but in the end it turned out that Russia is more to blame than Belarus. Information war began, in other words, began "roll forward" from Moscow. Have been allocated any unacceptable to Lukashenko. Spoken aloud on the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Behind the scenes, it seems, was the sale of some large Belarusian assets.

For the time being the Belarusian side would like, without sacrificing anything in particular, to get cheap energy and other benefits. Russia also signed these formally equal relationship, in my heart hoped that, say, a couple of years will give generous benefits, but then it will be ours. But then there w
as a "fiasco" for both sides. So this is a systemic crisis. And rightly said Ms. Timakova, a spokeswoman for Medvedev that relations have stalled. I can only add — stalled a false model of brotherly integration.

Drakakhrust: Former presidential campaign in Belarus in 2001 and 2006 had a clear geopolitical significance: Lukashenka they associated with Russia, his opponents — with the West. Can I say that now associated more with the Russian opposition? Belarusian journalist Dmitry Pankovets formulated this situation in a very sharp form — Lukashenko or Russia. This is an adequate description of the pre-election situation?

Jakubowicz: I was surprised to hear invektyvy Yevgeny Nikolayevich, because he is a young man, and I thought that would be

I believe that the best Russian, Belarusian debate that will …

are more or less original arguments. And here it is incompetent and even, I'm sorry, amateurish.

"Lukashenko is using anti-Russian rhetoric." Had Eugene was in Minsk to seriously interested in the issue, he would have seen that October for its continued use of words of friendship with the Russian people, of fraternal ties — this is probably the only champion in 2010. Therefore when they say that Lukashenko has adopted an anti-Russian rhetoric, then, but laughter and sorrow, it can not cause anything. This is a view of people from far away, though, apparently, not so far away. But such assertions are infinitely far from the point.

I have to agree with Pankovtsom that such views exist in the political class of Belarus, in the discussion that goes here. Lukashenko or Russia? I believe that Russia is better to be Belarusian discussion. After all, Russia, by definition, can not be the enemy, and to talk about it there is nothing.

Alexander said about the crisis, Ms. Timakov spoke of a deadlock. In my view, there is not one or the other, there is a normal political process in which there is always a certain degree of tension, as well as simulation of crises and deadlocks.

In fact, no crisis, no deadlock, but certainly some of the words spoken in Moscow, led some experts and curious believes that we, or stay with Lukashenko, or we absorb Russia. It seems to me that these warnings are exaggerated a bit.

DrakakhrustEugene, you have the floor to respond.

Inhabitant: I think it is absolutely unethical behavior of colleagues Jakubowicz: it is necessary to talk about the facts and do without the personal attacks. I believe

The anti-Russian line will not go away, it proves a content analysis of the Belarusian media …

that the anti-Russian rhetoric was at the start of the election campaign — in May and June. Next Lukashenka started to get quite a firm answer on the part of Russia. The October aggravation love Lukashenko to Russia due to the gap between the elite and the Belarusian population, which for the most part is set to a positive relationship with Russia.

Realizing that they are losing this trump friendship with Russia, are beginning to say that, well, we do not have realized that we're actually …

But this anti-Russian line will not go away, which proves a content analysis of the Belarusian media. So do not be unfounded accusations against his fellow, if you believe yourself to colleagues, not a propagandist. As for the fact that further — Belarus has no geopolitical alternative to Russia. This week there was a leak, I hope that the words had been misinterpreted by Lukashenko that he may withdraw from the integration associations, including the CSTO. Lukashenka goes to the Collective Security Treaty Organization — is left alone with NATO.

DrakakhrustEugene and you are sure that the source of this leak, which was made through the agency "Regnum", is located in Minsk, not in Moscow?

Inhabitant: I tried to find out the sources, I called the specific names, from whom it went. I very much hope that this information is not true, but the topic arose.

Geopolitical alternative in Belarus is not, and if it will be a "go" for the West, I fear that Lukashenko's waiting for the fate of Milosevic.

DrakakhrustAlexander, in your opinion, how the opposition responds adequately to the dilemma: Lukashenko or Russia? Some in the opposition consider it false, some opting for Russia, some — in favor of Lukashenko.

Klaskouski: It seems to me that the words "anti-Russian rhetoric" and "anti-Belarusian rhetoric" that contained in the statements of the two parliaments

If you take away the smokescreen about the "anti-Russian" and "anti-Belarusian" rhetoric, we see that just lords are fighting …

— This propaganda cliches. While it is true there is an information war, but if you carefully read the application and the Russian and Belarusian leadership, there is a clear separation. Lukashenko is not to say that Russia is bad, he says that the head of Russia there are people who act improperly.

It is also foolish to say that the Kremlin hates Belarusians. Goes aimed fire, and we can see against whom exactly all these "godfathers" of the incarcerated, it is clear from the title. So if you remove the smokescreen about the "anti-Russian" and "anti-Belarusian" rhetoric, we see that just lords are fighting.

As for the dilemma "Lukashenko or Russia," it is a trap. And I think it has got a part of the Belarusian opposition. Of course, the Belarusian leadership, the official media favorable to present opposition to the "fifth column" of Russia. But how is this reflected in the public mind, it is difficult to say. After all, in the mass, as was the pro-Western opposition, and remained.

Even Kalyakin, who calls himself a pro-Russian, when I ask him: "It will take Belarus?" — He replied: "No, I am in favor of independence." And the fact that Nekljaev, Romanchuk and Sannikov promise to improve relations with Russia, the people it can not be perceived as a disadvantage. Here I agree with Mr Minchenko because the masses do not want to fight with Russia and wants to have a normal, neighborly relations.

It is necessary to assess the trend in the public mind. Immediately begin statement russophobia. Yes no russophobia. Just watched: the project of "brotherly integration" does not work, then we will live in your state, we will live as neighbors. And this is a normal trend: suverinizatsiya mass consciousness, strengthening the pro-European sentiment. Belarusians recall the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Under Russia still lived only 200 years old, and this is still a big piece of history.

If you look at these processes normally, but not with the great-bell, then there is no tragedy in that.

As for the opposition, it partially fell into this trap, it is seen in the BPF, which declared war on two fronts — against Lukashenko and against "the candidate of the Kremlin." Have created a chimera. Here and on another front gunpowder there, and they are fighting on two. It looks like the cover of a conceptual confusion that part of the opposition.

DrakakhrustPavel Yakubovich, although Mr. Minchenko and believes that the current conflict — a sort of marital dispute, but from his words that the parties, or at least, one side thinks about possible alternatives. He said that in Belarus there is no geopolitical alternative. But is this really true?

Does the official Minsk plan B in case the current policy of Russia — this situation is not as radical a change
that does not return to normal even after the election? Lukashenko said during the press conference, said that in this case, Belarus will not be left alone. But it seems that the West is watching this "dispute among themselves Slavs" with Olympian calm, do not hurry to defend Minsk from "imperial" Russian pressure? Does the current government of Belarus to the freedom of geopolitical maneuver?

Jakubowicz: Of course it does. Like every state, there is an alternative. Another thing is that there are interests more or less priority.

If Russia really wanted a fundamental change in the current situation in Belarus, the configuration of political forces, the first thing she would do, it would expose their candidate …

I would ask a respected colleague not to use the expression "if Belarus will fall under the West" — it is a country, not something indecent. I want to draw attention to two things that are now very busy commented, although deserve.

First — this is the report of the Defense Minister Serdyukov, the Russian political leadership about the prospects of development of the Armed Forces. There, a special attention was given to the military-technical cooperation between Russia and Belarus, said that it's not just about the two military installations — in Vileika and Gantsevichi, but also that the "missile shield" of Russian land forces based on tractors, made in Minsk, and fire control systems — from divisional to the army — it is also the development of Minsk. And today, the Russian army can not afford extravagant steps.

The report notes that in this key strategic area, as many people think, "Russian collectors of land" and other important policies in Russia, not in any way be inconsistent with Belarus and even let myself think about it.

The Russian leadership without hesitation approved the plan for the development of the Armed Forces, which is based on close cooperation with Belarus.

The second point — it's a visit to Belarus legate of the Pope. It is also unusual gesture on the part of the Vatican.

Belarus President's mouth all the time stressed that Russia is the main strategic partner and ally Belarus. And no one reviziruet this guideline, I mean officials.

If Russia really wanted a fundamental change in the current situation in Belarus, the configuration of political forces, the first thing she would do, it would expose their candidate. The situation allowed it. It says more about what the prospects and what the true views of the Russian leadership on development prospects.

Drakakhrust: Mr. Minchenko, I want to continue the conversation — the geopolitical alternatives. Russia has always been feared: that whatever the Lukashenka, but his political philosophy, his political past will always keep him in the Russian orbit, but any receiver — not only pro-Western opposition, but also a representative of the range and even his son, will be free from the burden of the past and begin to shift to the West. Now, under the new policy of Moscow, if it is indeed the new policy, these concerns are not taken into account?

Inhabitant: Well, I agree that the geopolitical choice is always there, the question is whether it is comfortable. That mission, which

Russia a few years will have to work with Lukashenko …

Lukashenko has implemented, for which he thanks a lot — is the preservation of high-tech industry in Belarus — in the case of leaving the West is going to die. It's obvious.

For energy sources that do not we told about an alternative in the form of Venezuelan oil, estimates of independent experts suggest that it is one and a half to two times more expensive than the Russian one.

I agree with the amendment colleague Alexander that the rhetoric is not anti-Russian and anti-Belarusian and directed against the leadership of both countries.

I understand all the pros and cons of Alexander Lukashenko. Apparently, a few years Russia will have to work with Lukashenko because of strong opposition leaders I do not see, and Belarusian bureaucracy if it could give rise to some of his environment, he would be quickly destroyed politically Lukashenko. So it seems to me that in such a state of discomfort, but at the same time while maintaining economic ties we have the next few years.

Drakakhrust: You say you still have to work with Lukashenko. As far as I know, this is the Russian mainstream political thought. So why use such rhetoric, show such tapes, which in any case create a confrontation in the mutual relations? Lukashenko is unlikely to swallow in silence …

Inhabitant: I can not say it's mainstream — that Lukashenko will certainly remain. Because of the crisis is the fact that model

The "Golden Age" of the Belarusian model ended. And the political games do not come out of this situation …

management of the economy, which today exists in Belarus is overstocking warehouses of industrial products, the negative balance of foreign trade, there are the inevitable consequences of raising the minimum wage, which initiated the Alexander G. clear that this will be a jump in inflation. This model, which during the 90s, in my opinion, was a success, now found itself in a crisis. And unfortunately, or fortunately, but these problems can not be solved in the framework of the economic model that exists in Belarus.

Those alternatives are there: the preservation of Alexander Lukashenko with his particular style of management and foreign policy, on the one hand and, on the other hand, the rise to power of the pro-Western opposition's irresponsible — both of them no enthusiasm in Russia do not cause. Accurate alternative to Lukashenka is not visible. One can only hope that will be able to reach some sort of communication with the Belarusian bureaucracy, maybe a survival instinct and work of Alexander Lukashenko, who is very experienced, intuitive politician. For all things — the "golden age" of the Belarusian model ended. And the political games do not come out of this situation.

I am sad to say that in Russia there is no model for Belarus and Belarus alternative model of smooth reform of the existing model does not exist either.

Drakakhrust: Yakubovich, as far as Belarus ideologically prepared to counter the new Russian policy?

Even last year, Alexander Lukashenko reiterated: "The retreat from the policy of rapprochement with Russia — this is my political death." And indeed the whole Belarusian ideological construction is based on the integration with Russia. Now Lukashenko has said that "independence is very expensive."

Why Belarusians — "Russian with a quality mark" in the words of the president — have to pay so expensive to pay for a confrontation with Russia. Except for the sign of quality?

Jakubowicz: In these remarks the president is no contradiction. The break with Russia means political death Lukashenko — is

Belarus is not ready to ideological confrontation with the Russian establishment, so there is no need for this …

by far. And independence is expensive. Belarus and independent should be, and no one questions the vitality, the fateful importance of relations with Russia as a strategic ally and partner.

However, the search for geo-political identity, the desire to develop all of the vectors should not surprise anyone, much less enravish accusations that it is somehow a betrayal of care or somewhere.

Everything was left, nothing happened. NTV tap
e — it's fun for the intellectuals who make these movies. It's all the fuss, they have no effect on the election of Belarus and give nothing in Russia. Belarus is not ready to ideological confrontation with the Russian establishment, so there is no need for it.

It is a pity that Russian propagandists come out of myself. It is a pity, and I have to admit that the Ming and colleagues did not really try to talk honestly with Moscow.

Here is a reputable Eugene N. sounded: "irresponsible pro-Western opposition." Opposition is different, there are pro-Western, and there is so much provostochnaya that Buddhists have a lot of sympathy in Minsk among political parties.

I would like us to leave from stamps and understood the main thing. And it is — is that I said at the beginning: the peak has passed. It was written — to one degree or another. And it is not necessary to collect the spilled milk and pour into glasses.

President Medvedev said — be heard. President Lukashenko said — he, too, heard. A wave of comments, most extravagant — too well. But Belarus to live, to grow, you need to move on this, as they say, contradictory world. Likewise, Russia has a lot of problems, and Belarus — is not the biggest problem. Belarus poses no threat to Russia. And if Semashko and Russian ministers are traded on the price of oil and thus knocking his fist on the table and take care of the interests of the country you represent, it is natural and nothing in this terrible there.

Klaskouski: First of all, you can not enter twice in the same river. I do not agree with the thesis that everything "settled down" and begin again

I do not agree with the thesis that everything "settled down" and begin again rutynnyya talks about energy prices …

rutynnyya talks about energy prices. Previously, it was possible to bargain for benefits, and now these prices are steadily displayed on the European level. Therefore, willy-nilly will have to look for these alternatives. Even today, this search goes on. So, at the beginning of the fun of oil from Chavez, and now economists have found that it is beneficial. After all, Chavez does not take toll, and Moscow takes. Or, for example, Moscow at the time a loan for half a slowed down, as China makes 15 billion. Lukashenko's flew to China. Here, of course, there are pitfalls and tear can not be: half of production is on the Russian market. But what will be the gradual distancing that the Belarusian leadership is already clear that this project is dead (I believe that Moscow understands this), then it is exact. Will inevitably have to diversify, to rebuild their independent state and be sure to build bridges to the West.


Klaskouski, Yakubovich, Belarus-Russia

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