Alexander Lukashenko's visit to Turkmenistan discovered the limitations of the foreign policy of the country. What is the purpose of the visit of the Belarusian leader to Ashgabat? What happens to the foreign policy of Belarus? Where can we expect support?
Members: expert registered in Lithuania Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies Denis Melyantsou and deputy editor of the "Belgazeta" Victor Martinovich.
Lukashenko's visit to Turkmenistan
Valery Karbalevich: "Instead of Ukraine Lukashenko traveled to Turkmenistan. Presidents of the two countries and the official comments of a lot of talk about the grand plans of cooperation. Independent experts say that Lukashenko went for loans. What is the meaning of this is not pre-planned visit to the country, the level of economic relations with that small?" .
Denis Melyantsou: "First of all, this visit is to show that Belarus — the country has not been closed, not in isolation, there are countries where the heads are taking.
Turkmenistan has huge reserves of hydrocarbons. Here you can search for investment and loans. Although the Turkmen president Berdymuhamedav and said it expects to invest in Belarusian tourist business in Turkmenistan. "
Victor Martinovic: "This visit — a symbol of what is happening with the Belarusian foreign policy. This frantic search for partners. Present state of international relations of Belarus catastrophic. Guidelines state quarrel with the latest countries that were our lawyers in the world.
For example, Lithuania has demonstrated its willingness to develop relations, closing their eyes to some of the nuances of our domestic policy. But Belarus responded harshly to a neutral statement of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and that led to the scandal. Let us recall the statement Lukashenko against Barroso and Ukrainian leadership. If this continues, we will have to seek the support of more than Turkmenistan.
In addition, Turkmenistan — is the country with which the least you can rebuild the Russian alternative policies. After all, credit, energy capabilities Ashgabat largely limited to agreements with Moscow. "
The disaster of foreign policy
Karbalevich: "Indeed, the current Lukashenko's visit to Turkmenistan symbolic in several ways. First of all, this is the first foreign visit of Lukashenka in the status of the newly elected president. And it took more than four months after the presidential elections. Probably had no where to go. Secondly, this visit — in Turkmenistan. So is the situation with the foreign policy of disastrous? ".
Melyantsou: "Yes, obviously. Unlikely that this visit was planned as the first visit of the newly elected president. Indeed, on the first visit usually analysts define vectors of foreign policy. Turkmenistan — the most closed, repressive post-Soviet country.
In a sense, we are back in 2006-2007, when there were bad relations with the West soured relations with Russia. Then Belarusian diplomats sought ways out for Non-Aligned Movement, the so-called "arc of the distant" foreign policy of Belarus. I think now we have to expect visits to Venezuela, Cuba and other countries that do not belong to the West or to the East. "
Karbalevich: "But in 2006-2007, there was an economic crisis. And now the crisis of foreign policy overlapped with the economic. This creates a new situation for the country."
Martinovic: "Relations with the West — blind. And the situation is worse now than in 2006-2007. Back then there were a few political prisoners, and now there will be several dozen. Now sharper degree of confrontation. Even in the currency crisis were accused Western countries.
As a result — more than ever Belarusian authorities did not make a bet on Russia. Official Minsk went for broke. And Moscow is starting to make clear allusions to the possibility of a transition of Belarus to the Russian ruble. Smell complete the Anschluss, the incorporation of Belarus into Russia. The situation can get to that until December Belarusians themselves will speak of it as the only way to save the Belarusian economy. "
Karbalevich: "Why in such a critical situation to burn bridges with the EU, calling Barroso" goat "? Why quarrel with Ukraine? '.
Melyantsou: "It can not be explained rationally. Highly significant factor — the psychological state of Lukashenka caused by the crisis in the economy and foreign policy. He says patience and political correctness. Kanspiralyagichnuyu There is also a version that Minsk" run up "to the EU sanctions to explain the economic condition of the people of pressure west.
I do not share alyarmistskih forecasts. I think in relations with the West, not all bridges are burned, the relationship can improve if political prisoners are released. And the economy can sell industrial giants and close the money hole. So I would not dramatize the situation. And do not think that will happen Anschluss. This does not need Russia as well as for her will only further problem. Moscow is sufficient to obtain the desired her Belarusian enterprises and expand the impact of our policies. And all. "
Martinovic: "The problem is that the authorities are rethinking their priorities. First of all it is necessary to neutralize the aspirations for democracy in the country, to tighten the screws. And here already followed the steps in foreign policy, which is suffering from that."