Kalyakin: Lukashenka Hopes That Kremlin will Finance His Victory Are Ephemeral
The leader of the "Fair World" Party Syargey Kalyakin considers another round of the Belarus – Russia gas conflict a continuation of the prolonged deep crisis in bilateral relations. According to the politician, this crisis emerged after the official Minsk ceased to fulfil their obligations in building the Union State.
"I do not think this is another aggravation. This is a continuation of the protracted very deep crisis in the Belarus – Russia relations which began after Belarus had ceased to fulfil their commitments. These commitments relate to both political rapprochement with Russia and economic integration. Here we can, in particular, mention the promise to introduce a single currency and to create a common free market zone within the Union State. All this failed, and failed due to the Belarusian side," said Syargey Kalyakin to the news portal www.UDF.BY.
Therefore, according to the head of the "Fair World", the leadership of Belarus "should not be surprised that Russia in response stops subsidising Belarusian economy at the cost of its own citizens, as it no more sees sense in this".
"And so today, Russia’s pragmatic approach is absolutely understandable and consistent", Mr. Kalyakin believes. "Because we are establishing normal inter-state relations with Russia. It means that, our ‘special’ relations with Russia, due to which the regime succeeded for many years to maintain stability in the country, are disappearing."
As the politician said, the position of the country’s leadership which refuses to fulfil its international obligations cannot but cause surprise.
"Imagine that China, to where we deliver potash fertilisers, will suddenly refuse to pay for them. Or will pay half of the amount specified in the contract. Will the Belarusian leadership tolerate such a situation? Of course, it will begin to examine the situation", explained Mr. Kalyakin.
However, the new spiral of gas confrontation, according to the leader of the "Fair World", "has a political reason".
"Alexander Lukashenka’s hopes that Russia will once again finance his election campaign for the fourth presidential term are, in my opinion, ephemeral. And today Russia is not the state that intends to support Lukashenka in the presidential election. I'm not talking about some diplomatic words and political assurances, but the real economic support which was previously given in all elections. Economic preferences allowed Lukashenka to solve most of the economic and social problems. We remember, for example, that on the eve of presidential elections pensions and salaries always rose and prices were frozen. But now the Belarusian authorities will be able to do nothing like that at the expense of Russia. And all this is a consequence of reckless foreign policy of the official Minsk towards Russia. In foreign policy, one can not sign agreements and not give promises. But if you promised something or signed some agreement you must comply with it. Otherwise it will backfire to you after some time like a boomerang", said Mr. Kalyakin.
It should be recalled that on Tuesday at a meeting with Gazprom head Alexei Miller, the president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev gave the Belarusian authorities five days to repay debts for natural gas. They amount to about $ 200 million and appeared because Belarus’ authorities have been paying last year's prices for the delivery of "blue fuel" since 2010.
The Russian side believes that Belarus does have the means to pay the debt.
"Gazprom fully paid 50 per cent share of Beltransgaz this year, and this year the last tranche of 12.5% in the amount of 625 million dollars was paid", said Alexey Miller at the meeting. "So the Belarusian side received the whole sum from Gazprom this year for a stake in Beltransgaz and has the financial resources to pay for Russian gas in accordance with the terms of the contract on the increase of the price of gas in 2010", he added.
The Belarusian authorities have not commented the gas ultimatum of the Kremlin yet.