- Belarusian authorities and the opposition — between East and West, between the hammer and the anvil, between past and future
- 154 — new number shame of freedom of speech in Belarusian
- Russian smell than two billion U.S. dollars?
- Who is more Belarusian in American elections — Barack Obama or John McCain?
These topics in the program "Radio Freedom Week" will open a discussion analysts Yang Maksimyuk and Yuri Drakakhrust, and I, Alexander Lukashuk. Guest applets — South American analyst of our radio Brian Whitmore. Hi
Alexander LukashukLukashuk: In the Sun, speaking at the memorial in honor of the 65th anniversary of the liquidation of the Minsk ghetto, Alexander Lukashenko said: "I appreciate these steps, they find it difficult to have been given, taking into account that the EU 27 member states …. Europe has let and a small step, half-step, but it is significant …. Any obstacles to dialogue with the EU lifted. "
I note — on the public, only the social, moral essence of their own were not allowed to share are independent journalists. We talk about the freedom of the press a bit later — but for now, about the content of the statement Lukashenko.
Brussels decision essentially comprises not very pleasant for the pride of the official Minsk moments — visa sanctions were not taken from all, temporarily removed, stored monetary sanctions against the assets of the Belarusian officials who decided to start six months in Europe. Yet Lukashenko says about the highest evaluation? Why? So he needs this Europe? Yuri, what do you think?
DrakakhrustI think that is really needed. Get more was probably just unreal, especially with such a stylish choice. Here presentation prestige — visa sanctions were not very painful, but quite annoying. Now, as reported in November Lukashenka goes to London on vkladyvatelny forum. I believe that such a complacent wording — the result of expectations, and that Europe offers practical, including financial terms, what can we agree?
There is also the factor is that the improvement of relations with Europe, even the ghost of improvements — a trump card in trade with Moscow. Because Lukashenko and makes memory improvement. Ghost or improvement. In any case, the correct thing.
LukashukIvan, that’s our listener with Vytautas Minsk Lukashenka’s statements NSP: "I propose to remember these words Lukashenko after 3 months (" I appreciate ") and look at it through a new assessment for the repression of Belarusian democrats. We remember how he promised" most democratic elections. "Ian, do you think, Vytautas rights?
Yang MaksimyukMaksimyuk: I’ve already read in our previous program there, that the suspension of visa sanctions against Belarusian officials — an advance paid to the Belarusian government before Europe probable deal. It would be very stupid on the part of Alexander Lukashenko, if he did not use this offer and, according to our listener, again began to threaten the death of aspiring political opposition and civilian society. Similar, but that President Lukashenko wants to use it, hence his words of praise towards Europe on the removal of obstacles to dialogue. I think this dialogue Belarus need even more than Europe, respectively — Belarus, rejecting the proposal, to lose even more than Europe. And why President Lukashenko, hitretsky player who meticulously calculates the acquisition and loss, hardly dare to say, spit on everything and just start playing again by its own rules. As suppose the Belarusian president very hunt to go to Europe and do for yourself pictures on the background of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. And still with Kolya Lukashenko. So I’m more optimistic than our listener when it comes to exposure of the Belarusian president.
Lukashuk: Now the opposition in the recent situation this week Sejm BPF harshly criticized dialogue with the regime, directly accusing Milinkevich, which is as if he has pushed the EU to limit the sanctions. "As a result, similar irresponsible statements, Alexander Lukashenko, has had an opportunity to freely visit the EU, and this is the danger of the coming of independence and democratic Belarus."
BNF considers "unacceptable redefine international institutions and the start of negotiations with the current regime without criterion" also insists on visa restrictions for all those responsible for electoral fraud.
Yuri DrakakhrustDrakakhrustI would add that more extensive opposition tries wheel still included in the latest EU policy. This week, the opposition has developed its own requirements to the Belarusian authorities on those six months, until the will to act, so to speak, "trial visa authorization" for the Belarusian government. According to the "road map" of the opposition, in the next six months, the official Minsk should change the electoral law, make equal conditions for official and media-independent, to give access to municipal opposition media also liberalize the conditions for the activities of political parties and public organizations and repeal articles of the Criminal Code stipulating responsibility for political activities. This week, representatives of the opposition, including the representative of the BPF Vintsuk Vyachorka, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Radoslaw Sikorski, and who posted their suggestions.
Lukashuk: Here’s our listener Paul from Warsaw forum Liberty turned to the head of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the following words:
"Pan Minister, please keep in mind when meeting that it sturdy relations with Belarus, as the interests of Poles in Belarus — Poland case priority. Authorities in Belarus over time … will swap between the two countries will blossom civilized European affairs."
Here you, Ian, in a previous transfer were that the main problem in a new approach in Europe — is whether the Belarusian opposition to the subject of politics in Europe? Like now, after meeting with Sikorski looks answer?
Maksimyuk: List of requirements or wishes of the Belarusian opposition to the regime so wide that it looks as if already in the plan, someone tried to make it mystical. Naturally, to put it one hundred percent impossible. But something the government could and do — for example, to make some significant changes to the legislation, which states how many years has the opposition. Reason for this is — the new composition of the House of Representatives, you might try, at least, make the impression that these people are capable of some useful, pro-European initiative.
If it goes directly to the Belarusian-Polish affairs, it is clear that Warsaw will guard the interests of the Polish minority in Belarus. Here, too, would need some small movement on both sides meet. Once himself a figure of the Belarusian minority in Poland, I can say that to eliminate organizational dualism in the Polish movement in Belarus is unlikely to succeed, but you might try to make these two streams did some celebration or a common thing to ease the tension a little .
And as to that, will the current Belarusian opposition entity latest European
policy towards Minsk, so it depends first on the opposition itself, from its ability to draw conclusions from this latest situation and its ability and willingness to develop the latest strategy and strategy. I am afraid that without a change of generations in the leadership of the Belarusian opposition is impossible to do. But the visit to Warsaw opposition shows that Europe has not put an end to the grave of the Belarusian opposition and tries to breathe life into it the latest.
Lukashuk: It is clear that the fate of the Belarusian opposition depends finally on her own. And the willingness of partners to listen to her.
This week’s international organization "Reporters without Borders" published yearly report on their own status of freedom of expression in 173 countries around the world — "Press Freedom Index". Belarus is occupied 154th place — between Somalia and Yemenam. Even Our homeland — absolutely not the standard free printing takes place in the index 141.
Here’s our listener from Minsk Dima wrote on Freedom Forum:
"We need to throw all the resources for the release of opposition media in Belarus. And then the result will be. Free media — Belarus is no dictatorship."
Yuri, your assessment of what will take place freedom of speech in the dialogue between the official Minsk and Europe?
DrakakhrustI think that will be enough in principle. In this situation, a significant step forward would be a "return to the past" in a situation, say, the early twentieth century, when are independent publications still got in kiosks "Sayuzdruk" and distributed through the state subscription. I do not exclude that Europe can take certain steps to make and support the Belarusian-independent media and this support can go hand in hand, in one, so to speak, with the economic aid package Belarusian state. Belarusian regime does not like European support Belarusian newspapers? Sorry, and then economic assistance may be less than it could be.
I think that harsh policies in Europe do not believe and do not count on a beautiful spiritual transformation Lukashenko that he slipped into democratic values. He always believed in the calculation, such spontaneous marketeers, despite his leftist beliefs — and what I get for this? Well, something will show that — for him to decide.
Lukashuk: Well, now — about another vector of the Belarusian foreign policy and relations with Russia. If Lukashenko on the anniversary of the defeat of the Minsk ghetto assessed the prospects of relations with Europe, he added: "We have a multi-vector policy. We are in the heart of Europe — and that’s it. Because of principle for us in Europe. A Russian with us — one people"
Our listener Novitsky forum Liberty ironically saw: "Well, at least not with the Venezuelans, we single people in his historical calculations."
Yuri, what’s going on in the eastern direction of the Belarusian policy at the moment, after the EU sanctions have been suspended?
Drakakhrust: On the "Eastern Front" Belarusian politicians really happened in the last week many fundamental events. Lukashenko last week at the Security Council made sharp anti-Western statements and confirmed that Belarus and Russia agreed to form a unified air defense system. Last Friday it was reported that the draft Constitutional Act of the country, who have agreed to nine years, eventually agreed, and make out in the subsequent Belarus-Russia Summit. Well, this week Russian Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin said Our homeland finally decided to give Belarus a loan of 2 billion dollars. Crisis, money markets in Russia, as it is also true in other countries fall, and here — such a generous gesture. I recall that discussion about this loan began in December last year, during a visit to Minsk back then Russian President Fishing season.
Lukashuk: Consent of the joint air defense system, a constitutional act, credit — what it all means? Yuri few days reverse wrote on his blog commentary on the draft constitutional act entitled "Anschluss or PR." Yang, like you answer this question?
Maksimyuk: Recall that conclusion Yuri was not so much the dark — if Lukashenko not "passed" in the days of Belarus, as he was under pressure from Moscow and Brussels, then why does he give in now, when he became engaged some friendly Europe? I believe that this is the right conclusion. Means it is not the Anschluss, and faster PR. In the case of a joint air defense, as they say, the union has long been the de facto left. And the Constitution Act case is not yet clear — if it is such as union contract since December 1999, so why would not it Minsk to sign to get soft loans, or another gas debt cancellation? Naturally, Alexander Lukashenko first fussing about preserving their individual power in Belarus. But it is generally linked to the preservation of both greater sovereignty. And therefore, if you do not assign a quick regime change, so let’s at least hope for this pragmatic relationship between dictatorship and independence.
LukashukYuri, you wrote your own comment on the blog before, as it was reported $ 2 billion Russian loan. And what is your conclusion at the moment — the Anschluss or PR?
Drakakhrust: I think that part of PR. No, something that can be and gives Lukashenko — namely, in the end is to create a
Dina air defense system, although it is not a fact. But constitutional act looks huge bubble, so as not to give harsher things, and not specifically to cross the Russian ruble and not to recognize Abkhazia and Ossetia noon. I think the last moment — the main transaction Lukashenko throughout Europe. This is geopolitics, it is a question of war and peace. If Lukashenko is surrender, no one in Europe he obviously does not explicitly pronounces that he violated the terms of the agreement. And it did not exist, the agreement simply hand figured each other. Utter, and realize you still human rights well so bad, well, you have some selections are very stylish. And we have, I’m sorry, principles.
I think that in Minsk understand it. Hence the statement of Speaker of the House of Representatives that the Georgian autonomous appeals for recognition of their independence to the Belarusian parliament has not yet been reached. See how bad the mail works. And further, I think the same will work.
LukashukI would wish to come back to the topic of Russian loan. Our homeland has a large stabilization fund, so that for her the money — not the last. Yet during an acute crisis could they find another use.
This step of Moscow — it is associated with the decision of the Brussels or other premises operated here: payment for gas, defense, the same problem of the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia? And what’s playing Belarus — gentle calf of famous sayings or something that fell between the hammer and the anvil?
Drakakhrust: I think that the combination — so to speak gentle calf between the hammer and the anvil. You can suck, but you can get to the head. I think that Moscow still swing Brussels little concerned. Here it should be noted that despite all the quarrels and even war Our homeland and so far has more closely and various business with Europe than Minsk. But it all starts small. There are so many, and more tomorrow. Hence the loan — the long-awaited and beneficial Belarus. However, it will be, apparently, to a greater extent in the same pay for the more expensive Russian gas. But on the other Belarus would these funds to find somewhere else, and if the loan somewhere else to take, the more interest on them to pay. And so: Europe sold friendship with Russia, Russia — Europe.
ndship with her, sold Europe
Or even this: RF resold friendship with her, sold Europe. Similar to trade air. But 2 billion income brings.
LukashukYan, and your eyes — the smells Russian loan?
Maksimyuk: It seems that Moscow really does answer the activity of Europe Minsk direction. And the answer is quite Favourable for Minsk, if we mean a loan of 2 billion dollars. And so I think that Belarus is more appropriate analogy with dedicated calf with 2 between the udder and not the frog analogy between the hammer and the anvil.
Lukashuk: Well, now — still on the 1st player in the Belarusian political field. But at the moment this player busy inner game. I mean the United States and presidential elections that take place there. About the peculiarities and mysteries of this election, we together with Yuri Drakakhrust will talk with our employees — another analyst Brian Whitmore our radio.
Drakakhrust: Brian, what this election different from the past?
WhitmoreFor the first time in our history, for all the 232 years afraamerykanets not only running for president, but has a real chance to be followed by the U.S. president. In 1964, when Obama was born, the majority of African Americans did not even have the right to vote. And now some of them will be the 44th president.
Second feature — it is the most significant gap between the age of 2-candidate Obama — 44 years old, McCain — 72 years. This, incidentally, two generations of South American society, whose representatives were never presidents.
And the third feature — the role of the Web in the company. As in the 60 th year for the first time Kennedy used television, now Obama is very good use the Web, it is not only a complete financial resources, and in campaigning.
Lukashuk: Brian, before the elections in the U.S. still have a few days of. What topics were the focus of election battles, so to speak, "about that" the elections were?
Whitmore: There were a few of those. First — it changes against experience. The word "change" during the campaign, Obama repeated like a mantra. And McCain — is the candidate of experience, he was in Washington for many years, he was known to all the Yankees. Obama — is absolutely brand new figure, he appeared on state proscenium 4 years back, at the Democratic National Convention. When Kerry became a candidate, Obama delivered a speech at the Congress, which had a very profound impact.
Second core problem of the election — is that they are reincarnated in almost a referendum on the direction America Republicans. Reagan became president in 1980, 28 years have passed since that time, 20 years old, the white house was a Republican. Even if Clinton was president, he was obliged to work in the paradigm of republican ideology. At the moment, many analysts, including myself, believe that is the end of this period.
Drakakhrust: Elections, when Americans elected Bill Clinton in 2000 and George W. Bush seemed implementation forecast Francis Fukuyama "end of history." The winner of today’s campaign will get difficult legacy: a grave economic crisis, two wars, the growth of anti-American sentiment across the whole world, the growth of insecure power states such as China and our homeland. How, in your opinion, Obama and McCain are ready to respond to these challenges? How ready mentally, ideologically — do they know what to do, and how ready are as a person — whether the freedom to do what they know?
Whitmore: Indeed, history vorachivaetsya us. The meaning of your question — how the candidates if they become president, will act in crisis situations? Surprisingly, that we beheld. Was, so to speak, dress rehearsal, when the September 15 monetary crisis struck. And every voter had an opportunity to look at the behavior of both candidates. At this point, according to opinion polls, their ratings were approximately equal.
But at the moment this financial crisis in the behavior and statements McCain later something unpredictable, something impermanent. And it was of course all this was noted even limited intelligence. In contrast, Obama was calm, confident, he gave up hope. Even some of his opponents then uttered, "God, this man is like a president." And now his approval rating went up dramatically, and today he is ahead of McCain by 10 percentage pt.
Lukashuk: The ideological core foreign policy of President George W. Bush’s promotion of democracy around the world. To what extent this policy, which originates in the inheritance of President Wilson’s administration will continue to follow? Who are the candidates — Obama or McCain — will be more inclined to continue this policy?
WhitmoreYou are right when says that it is not only Bush’s policies — it is the policy of the United States. I believe that both of them will continue this policy, but is a definite difference. McCain will just continue the Bush policy, it follows from his speeches and programs. In turn, Obama read a couple of times that you can not achieve democracy without merit. According to him, people first have to have a decent life, and only then to be a democracy. If he prevail, will be interesting to see how he translate this approach into practice.
Drakakhrust: Brian, and in more practical terms — what will be the U.S. policy towards Belarus during subsequent president? And even more directly: Now with regard to Belarus, there are a set of American sanctions: this visa and financial sanctions against a number of Belarusian officials, as economic sanctions against Belarusian companies "Belneftekhim" concern. In your opinion, will remain whether these sanctions under President McCain and President Obama?
Whitmore: Both candidates have not uttered a lot myself about Belarus. I expect that these sanctions against Belarus will remain. And all the more unlikely the general outline will change U.S. policy towards Belarus — I guess that whoever becomes president, followed by the U.S., he will support the democratic process in Belarus and Lukashenko’s regime to resist. The difference will be in style.
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