Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Moscow driving Lukashenka into corner

Belarus has not yet changed its stance on the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday following a joint board meeting of the foreign ministries of Belarus and Russia.

Belarusian-Georgian and Russian-Georgian relations were discussed in general terms during the meeting, Mr. Makey said. "I cannot say that our stance has changed," he said. "However, life doesn`t stand still. We`ll analyze the situation and make decisions based on our national interests."

Political analyst Valery Karbalevich comments on the statements made by Mr. Makey in the interviews with UDF.BY.

- A question was asked. If there was no question, then the issue [of Belarusian-Georgian and Russian-Georgian relations] was not discussed. But the question was voiced. Makey tried to extricate himself from this situation. On the one hand, there is no statement about the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, on the other hand - there is no refusal to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The issue has been suspended, because this is the favorite tactic of the official Minsk.

- Moscow demanded Minsk yesterday to give back 1.5 billion dollars lost due to the solvent and diluent business, and today after the meeting with Lavrov, head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that Minsk "can revert to the issue in order to review its stance on the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia." However, despite an absence of a direct connection between the two events, the connection is there...

- It is clear that Belarusian leadership have found themselves in a difficult situation. Moscow targets the most vulnerable place of Belarus' economy - petrochemical exports. Russia have stricken four heavy blows - one after another. Russia has practically blocked the solvent and diluent business. The country cut oil exports by 26% in the fourth quarter of 2012, and is ready to do it in 2013. Finally, Russia demanded to give back 1.5 billion dollars lost due to the solvent and diluent business.

Belarus is trying to prove that Russia needs it in political and military terms. Recently, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin visited Belarus. He discussed the issues of military and military-technical cooperation with Lukashenka.

The issue of the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is the issue Russia is interested in.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has repeatedly emphasized that it is up to Belarus` National Assembly to decide whether or not to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia.

A delegation of Belarusian lawmakers visited Georgia and both breakaway provinces in November 2009 to study the situation there. The delegation`s findings were not made public.

The House of Representatives received a recognition appeal from the parliament of South Ossetia on December 1, 2008 and a similar appeal from the legislature of Abkhazia a little earlier, but has not considered the issue.