Updated at 18:18,16-07-2018

Geopolitical impasse of Lukashenka


In Moscow, November 18 will be the meeting of Dmitry Medvedev, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Aleksandr Lukashenka. The leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus should sign a number of documents that are "essential to further development of mutually beneficial cooperation", and discuss "important issues" of the Customs Union.

Considering that economic situation in Belarus is deteriorating slowly except than relations between Minsk and Brussels, many experts regard the meeting in Moscow as a life buoy for Belarusian president. Both financially and geopolitically.

Should Belarus rely on financial aid and cheap energy? Does the president have at least some space for geopolitical maneuvers, or all will depend on the will of the Kremlin? Will the Eurasian Union remain an ambitious electoral project of Putin, or will become a real political force?

These questions in the interview to UDF.BY were answered by political observers Aleksandr Klaskovsky, Andrey Fedorov and Roman Yakovlevsky.

According to the experts, Lukashenka's trip to Moscow is "fundamental and fateful" for several reasons.

Firstly, there will be signed the documents, which should accumulate all the ideas of the Eurasian Union, which were put forward by the heads of state in notorious articles in the newspaper "Izvestia".

"It is expected, the three presidents will sign the declaration on establishment of the Eurasian Union, which will no longer be the cardboard formation like that of the Union State, but the full integration project. The situation is that everything told to Lukashenka in Moscow will be important for him, especially what Putin will consider as such", Yakovlevsky comments on the situation.

"For Belarus, the meeting in Moscow is a fateful decision. This is a geopolitical choice. The more we are drawn into Putin's integration projects, the more likely if not an absorption, then the transformation into some Russian appendage and, accordingly, the final falling out of the European context", Klaskovsky adds.

Secondly, Lukashenka goes to Moscow for financial support, so necessary now to Minsk.

"The main question now is whether Minsk will gain the reduced price for energy, and in the first place - for gas", Fedorov thinks.

"Lukashenka is at an impasse. In this situation he is forced to ask for help from Moscow, both financial and geopolitical", Yakovlevsky notes.

However, according to the experts, despite the declared joy over the next rapprochement with Moscow, Lukashenka still try to normalize relations with Brussels and in the future to balance between two centers of political power.

In this connection, Aleksandr Klaskovsky reminds that "Putin's projects have mostly pre-election like, public relational nature". "And the Belarusian government cherishes hope, that today we will "wheedle some money" out of Moscow, and than we will slip through somehow. Belarusian leadership has been lucky in this regard not once. First, the war in Georgia has helped to thaw relations with the West, when we didn't recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, thereby we won favor of Brussels. Then suddenly the IMF during the crisis was generous with a loan. Now hooks are thrown too: negotiations with the IMF, today's meeting with a representative of the Vatican. Pleas for help are heard in all this, although the conditions of its obtaining are well known", the political observer says.

Geopolitical impasse in which the president has occurred due to notorious multi-vector policy narrows the room for maneuver and shifts all the integration projects of Moscow to the rank of those that can not be abandoned.

"I would like to remind, that on November 18 the three presidents will meet, and on 25 November in Moscow, as Lukashenka said himself, the "fateful" meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State is planned. So in the near future, the fate of Belarus will be decided in Moscow", Yakovlevsky summarizes.

"Despite the tough rhetoric against Brussels, Minsk is interested in unfreezing this vector. We need European money and the ability to maneuver in relations with Russia, so that Putin's plan won't become a process of incorporation. Of course, with such a quarrelsome and inconsistent policy the regime pushes itself deeper and deeper into the corner, and sooner or later it will end in failure", Klaskovsky concluded.