Belarusian and Russian elections: the tactics and strategy

For two days, one of the most influential Russian publications — the newspaper "Vedomosti", published two articles on the Belarusian-Russian relations. Pauline Himshyashvili in "Factor" Godfather "analyzes the chances of the Belarusian opposition in light of the conflict between Minsk and Moscow, political analyst Vyacheslav Inozemtsev in a material called" No time select "talks about the dilemmas of Russian politics.

"Factor" Godfather "

The Belarusian opposition has so far been unable to agree on a single candidate in the upcoming elections, but its position improved due to a conflict of President Alexander Lukashenko with Moscow

Belarusian opposition yesterday signed an action plan for the presidential election, that have held no later than February 2011 on the election of a single candidate was no time, told the leader of the campaign "Tell the Truth" Nyaklyayeu. Earlier, in an interview with "Vedomosti", he said that talks about a single candidate will resume after the announcement of the election date. expected that this occur at an extraordinary session of parliament on September 7, and the election will be assigned to December 12.

The elections for President Lukashenko complicated: accusations against him by the Kremlin, incriminating tape "The Godfather" shown on NTV, send a signal to the range and the citizens that his Moscow's support is not as indisputable, and it is a new factor in Belarusian politics, says Anatoly Lebedko, the chairman of the opposition United Civil Party (UCP).

According to the poll Baltic Surveys, prohibited from showing the film NTV looked every seventh Belarusian who knows about their content every third. It gives the chance that the support of the opposition in the elections will be much higher now existing 25-30%, says Liabedzka.

Before the elections of 2006, Lukashenko was several times received by President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship of Patriarch Alexy, and two weeks before the election, visited Minsk, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who conveyed "greetings from Putin." Now no such support, the Russian authorities have shown that they are tired of Lukashenko, said Alexander Fadeev, head of the Belarusian Institute of CIS countries. The position of Russia can mobilize nesystemnuyu opposition, those who are already unhappy with the economic policies of Lukashenko, said the expert. The opposition has already picked up the theme of NTV film about the disappearance of political opponents of Lukashenko, but polls show that the majority of the population does not believe in the films, and to reduce its rating affects more than the plight of the economy, says political analyst Valery Karbalevich Minsk.

As forbehaves Kremlin against the Belarusian elections will decide the outcome of the conflict with Lukashenko if he will develop — Russia, of course, will not directly intervene and support the opposition, but for the first time in history can not accept the results of the voting, predicts the United Russia Duma deputy Sergei Markov. Russia may simply draw attention to the poor match voting democratic norms, and it's already become a big hit on Lukashenko believes Fadeev.

" No time to choose"

After this year held an event that could hardly count on the attention of Russians — the presidential elections in Belarus. All of the past 15 years, we know who he will be: Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russia, who used their Moscow colleagues introduced a managed democracy in the country and from time to time very skillfully convert political proximity to the Russian leadership in economic preferences.

Now things are not so obvious. Moscow and Minsk had a falling out — and it looks like, seriously. Several oil and gas wars, conflicts around the supply of milk and a number of other consumer products, difficulties in the CSTO and the Customs Union, the position of Minsk on South Ossetia and Abkhazia — this is an incomplete list of reasons to mutual discontent. In Russia have spread rumors that the Kremlin has ceased to rely on Lukashenko.

Meanwhile situation, which hit Russia can hardly be called simple. Thus, Moscow had to pay dearly for the illusion Minsk Union State. But it was her own choice — now the relations are not that "sponsored": Belarus in the current quarter to pay for gas at $ 193 per 1,000 cubic meters. m, while spot prices in Britain in the first half of the year amounted to $ 208, and in the U.S. in July — $ 156; preferential oil prices are valid only for its volume, which is consumed in the country (Belarus imports of Russian oil in the first half of the year, by the way, decreased by 49.8%). In such conditions, a constant pressure is not so much mistrust to Lukashenko as reducing the number of supporters of rapprochement with Russia. Even last year, 40% of Belarusians agreed on the fact that their country joined the EU, and less than 15% were willing to unite with Russia in a single state. Belarusian exports is also oriented to the West, not the East: in 2009 amounted to $ 9.1 billion went to the EU and by $ 6.7 billion — in Russia. At the end of last year, by the way, in Brussels, Belarus was named the most active member of the European program "Eastern Partnership". Thus, Belarus is dependent on Russia, but those on whom depend are often afraid, but rarely loved.

As if in Moscow nor stressed endowment essence of the Belarusian economy, it is more modernized than the Russian. Industry and construction provide 36% of GDP, a small republic produces more tractors and excavators, what a great Russia, in terms of volume of production of light and food industry per capita bypassing us to 2-3, while the volume of housing construction — 2.1 times. By spending only 0.4% of GDP on road infrastructure, the country is holding it in a much better state than Russia. Russia's energy intensity of GDP lower by almost 30%. The authorities are beginning to take practical steps to get rid of dependence on Russian energy carriers already are mining and oil purchases in Venezuela and Lithuania on the Baltic coast can be built regasification terminal for LNG supplies. And if the population of Belarus in the fall will be delivered real choice, it will be a choice between Lukashenko and less pro-Russian candidate. Because the prospects for modernization and development nor Russia, nor the Customs Union of Belarus are not binding.

At the same time, Russian attempt to vote for the Democratic candidate or declare that they were not in line with democratic standards, carries a significant problem. First, the obvious, that on August 24 in Minsk opposition leaders did agree on coordinated action, and if Moscow decides to support one of them, the chosen one will be hard to keep in Belarus impartial person — and be a guide to the interests of Russia now there are not too popular. Secondly, all the opposition candidates — these are honest people, supporters of democracy and economic liberalism, and to exchange support for promises to sell the Russian oligarchy Belarusian industries are unlikely to want, let alone recognize the pseudo-Caucasian him and did not come to mind. And finally, the Kremlin's campaign for fair and democratic elections in Belarus on the eve of the election cycle of 2011-2012 in Russia, where the authorities need predictable results could trigger an undue tendency to modernize its political system. Therefore, Moscow will probably have to continue to be friends with someone she has grown up. To find those responsible for showing the film offensive, lower gas prices and alone "strengthen relations" with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Final selection time is not yet.

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