Despite his visit to Kyiv, in the eyes of the civilized world the dictator stays a rogue.
Such an opinion has been expressed by the member of the organizing committee of “Belaruski Ruch” (“Belarusian Movement”), a former chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front party Vintsuk Vyachorka in an interview to charter97.org website.
- The trip of Lukashenka to Kyiv had not been confirmed officially until the last moment because of being cautious about Putin’s reaction. But finally he was present at the inauguration ceremony of Petro Poroshenko. Was this decision approved by the Kremlin or was it an independent move of the dictator?
- I think that one should look at the concrete actions of Lukashenka which concern independence of Ukraine and its choice of non-Eurasian path of development. And in this context deployment of Russian combat aircrafts in Belarus has much more importance. Despite the reports in mass media, these aircrafts has not been withdrawn from the territory of Belarus yet. The anti-Ukrainian voting in the UN is of key importance as well. So I believe that understanding that the Belarusian leader and his economy’s dependence on Moscow are critical, Putin did not oppose Lukashenka’s visit to Kyiv.
- In this case, how could the statement of the dictator that Russian troops which could be used against Ukraine, would not be stationed at the territory of Belarus, could be treated?
- Russian offensive forces and namely fighter planes are already stationed in Belarus, and since recently two Russian military installations exist on the territory of Belarus – military bases near Vilejka and Lyakhavichy. All that shows that in any moment they could be used in the way Putin wants it, and Lukashenka would not raise voice against it.
- Some observers voiced a point that the visit of the dictator to the capital of Ukraine would give him an opportunity to break out of the international isolation through a dialogue with numerous Western politicians. As is well-known, Lukashenka has not used it, he has not met or talked to anyone of them. Why?
- I think it was he who had not been met with and talked to. And the fact that neither he nor the other representative of Belarus were invited to Normandy, demonstrated that he is isolated. However, in the West, and primarily in Europe, from time to time hopes emerge that he could be Europeanized and inspired to defend independence of Belarus. Though, to my mind, these are illusions, as Lukashenka is exactly the person who has brought out country to the state of fatal dependence on the Kremlin. And the only hope we have in this situation is a free nation, people with a free Belarusian mindset, who in a critical situation would be ready for resistance.
- How Belarusian-Russian and Belarusian-Ukrainian relations are going to develop after that?
- Putin is trying to think several moves behind. And now when he has broken his teeth by Ukraine to some extent, as “Yanukovych” and “Donbas – the second Crimea” scenarios have failed, Putin is going to keep Belarus in all his claws tightly. And first of all, he is going to do that by keeping Lukashenka in check. In this sense, a relative freedom of action, even imitation of “a see saw”, would be extremely limited.
As for the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations, the positive thing is the volume of economic ties, and Lukashenka’s authorities understand that their severing would mean a catastrophe for the Belarusian economy. That is why I think that the economic relations are to be maintained, and official Minsk is going to make some gestures in the direction of Ukraine. Though we see how Lukashenka evaded the question about Crimea’s allegiance.