DrThe two don’t like each other. However, the Russian president met Vladimir Putin And the governor of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, was ruled on Monday in the Russian city of Sochi on the Black Sea. Lukashenko needs money. According to reports in the Kommersant newspaper, the self-proclaimed Belarusian president wants to pump out the Kremlin with $ 3 billion.
Lukashenko commented maliciously on the report: “Why do we ask for something?” He gave a lecture to everyone who tried to conclude their desire to obtain a Russian loan in the amount of three billion dollars did not understand the true agenda of Russian-Belarusian relations. Lukashenko’s strong assurances that the visit is not about money indicates that this is exactly how it should be.
Luck has turned
A surprise since Lukashenko’s election was rigged last August Political crisis in his country Due to its eruption, it is receiving increasing support from Russia. Lukashenko took out a $ 1.5 billion loan from his meeting with Putin last September.
At the time, Lukashenko was still acting from a position of weakness: due to the constant demonstrations and protests from the West, it was not clear how long he could remain in power.
The tide has now turned. The regime in Minsk regained control of the situation and stifled any resistance with brutal violence. That is why the autocrat is now taking a comfortable approach to Moscow. Lukashenko has promised reforms, but he does not seem to be in a hurry.
Ten days ago, the autocrat remained ambiguous in the “All-Belarusian People’s Assembly”, a sort of congress of 2,500 pro-state officials modeled on the Chinese model, where Lukashenko was supposed to announce the details of the reforms the Kremlin wanted. Artyom Shripman, a Belarus expert at the Carnegie Moscow Research Center, writes that grouping is like a group therapy for the system.
Instead of delivering clear messages to Moscow, she was disappointed Lukashenko The Kremlin. The referendum on constitutional amendments, which optimists have expected in Moscow this year, will not take place until the beginning of 2022. Lukashenko is left open when there are new elections.
Instead, he claims that the current demonstrations in Russia are a continuation of the Belarusian protests. This is a clear signal to Moscow that it is not even considering pulling out of politics. Lukashenko is currently in the saddle firmly. As long as he stays that way, Putin will also support him.
What is the European Union doing? Lukashenko seems to expect – similar to the protests in the summer of 2011 – that within a year or two there will be rapprochement and that people will quickly return to their daily business.
Currently Lukashenko feels so strong that he is being harassed by Western diplomats in Minsk: for example, representatives of state television regularly photograph Western diplomats visiting court hearings, asking endless questions and following those affected to the car door. This is the “classic intimidation tactic”, as it was said in Brussels.
The Europeans will likely adopt sanctions against more people in the Lukashenko force in the coming months. Previous punitive measures such as travel restrictions and account freezes – which also affect Lukashenko himself – have so far had no effect.
Paul Latuchka, who sits in the chair of the so-called Opposition Coordination Council and fled to Poland, told WELT: “There are two options: Either the European Union allows it. Lukashenko He ruled for another five years and tortured his people, or there are smart targeted economic sanctions that hit the regime in the heart. ”
Latushka, who was previously his country’s minister and ambassador in Warsaw and Paris, expects that “between two and three million Belarusians” will leave their country after the Corona pandemic if things continue as before. “Germany will feel it, too,” Latuschka said.
Meanwhile, it was said in Brussels Germany Latvia was removed from the European Union sanctions list at the last minute. These were Alexei Alexin and Michael S. Both are close to Lukashenko and are largely responsible for raising money to fund his regime. Guzerijew is said to have links with an important German company. Latushka does not want to comment on this.
Instead, he said: “I am grateful to Germany for the solidarity and support provided to members of the opposition and those in need within the framework of the Belarus Civil Society Action Plan.” He is also pleased with the numerous statements made by the European Union regarding the situation in Belarus.
“But a lot of people in my country ask me: Where’s the European Union’s reaction?” Latushka said. It is important now that the government finally begins negotiations with the opposition, “It does not do this voluntarily, only under pressure.”