Statement by the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev that the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko promised to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, said in an interview with our radio editor of the journal "Russia in Global Affairs" Fyodor Lukyanov.
Radio Liberty: What does this last statement Medvedev? And there is the same question — what this achieve? Since the game takes the president, not some journalists, it is in a sense burning bridges.
Lukyanov: I think that in relations between Belarus and Russia is not burning bridges. After all parties to the conflict — people like to put it mildly, very practical, and personal resentment of course, but in the end everything is determined and benefits are very specific economic interests.
In this case, the players on both sides, especially with Belarus, gambling and very inflexible. President Lukashenko has boldly recent months goes ahead and does not miss a beat. Showed a "Godfather" — get an interview with Saakashvili showed yet another "Godfather" — get Nemtsov at the official press.
And this despite the fact that the Germans — was persona non grata in Belarus. He himself — who needs to Minsk, but this story needed unexpectedly. Accordingly there to talk about the point of no return is impossible, as part of a very depend on each other, both politically and economically.
As to the highest level … Well, if the Belarusian side is an attack on the highest level? President Lukashenko has openly speaks about Russia in general, and its specific managers. Challenge accepted.
I believe that Medvedev told the truth. I do not remember that Lukashenko promised publicly to admit, but the tone of his statements allow to expect that it will go to Belarus. At least allow us to count the Russian leadership. If the words are referenced by Medvedev, speaking, it turns out that Lukashenko Russia simply "thrown" — promised and did not. This happens in politics, but as a rule thereafter comes some action in response. That's the answer we observe.
As for the goal, it seems to me that it has not changed. Although Minsk formally joined the Customs Union, but the main issues are still unresolved — about the density of the Customs Union, or within the scope of its energy activities. Economically clear position of both Moscow and Minsk. But as it came to the level of political confrontation, then there must be some kind of result. It yet.
Radio Liberty: And what role this information war can play in the presidential election in Belarus, which looks like, will be announced in the near future?
Lukyanov: Intrigue will be a very intense and interesting. On the one hand, in all conscience, Russia does not have the shape that it was ready to support as opposed Lukashenko. If it's not today, I'm not sure that it can appear in the next 2-4 months. And from this point of view, Lukashenko may feel calm enough.
On the other hand, have no experience of Lukashenko's election campaign in a situation of acute adverse information space of Russia. With Western pressure to deal him the first time. But what will the electoral process if the conflict is resolved and Russia will continue to use all means against Lukashenko's "soft power," which it has — that experience he has not. Perhaps these tools and not enough. And maybe that's enough. After all, if you believe what is reported in us, these "godfathers" looked almost a quarter of the population of Belarus.
Russian information resources, even though he became weaker, but it is a strong leverage. A few months ago this would make President Bakiyev, who before his overthrow was in a very negative "wave" of Russian media. The more it will act in the case of Belarus.
But it seems to me that if the elections are announced, the Belarusian side will try to do something about. As the saying goes, "Better safe than sorry", re-elected for another term, which goes beyond all limits of constitutional principles, having an adverse environment to the west of its borders and sharply negative attitude to the east of the border, it is safe and can be victorious, but it is very difficult.