Moscow – Minsk: where will the curve take?

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Moscow - Minsk: where will the curve take?

Putin and Lukashenko held telephone conversations, about the essence of which little is known

The United States is closely following developments in Belarus and is consulting with European partners on what steps need to be taken together in the context of what is happening. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this on Saturday, August 15, while in Warsaw as part of a European tour..

According to Pompeo, the main thing is “to help the Belarusian people”. The Secretary of State also reiterated that Washington does not consider the presidential elections held in Belarus on August 9 free and fair and called on the official Minsk to dialogue with civil society..

For a week now, mass protests against the election results have not subsided in the republic, which, according to official data, ended in the victory of the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been holding power for 26 years. According to independent observers, opposition and a significant part of the population, the elections were grossly rigged.

In the first days after the elections, the Belarusian security forces acted extremely harshly in dispersing peaceful protests: they used various special means, including flash-noise grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets. As a result, hundreds of people were injured, some of them were seriously injured. At least one person was killed, thousands were detained, many of them were tortured and abused. All this caused widespread indignation both in the republic itself and abroad..

Against this background, on Saturday, at the initiative of Lukashenko, a telephone conversation took place between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the eve of the conversation, the Belarusian leader said that the protests in the republic directly threaten the security of the Union State. Lukashenka claims that popular demonstrations are inspired by the West.

“Both sides expressed confidence that all the problems that have arisen will be resolved soon,” the Kremlin press service said in a laconic statement. At the same time, Moscow is concerned that the situation is not taken advantage of by “destructive forces striving to damage the mutually beneficial cooperation of the two countries within the framework of the Union State.”.

A rally of solidarity with the Belarusian people protesting against the rigged presidential elections was held in Moscow, near the Belarusian embassy..

“Now everything is decided by the Belarusian people”

Professor of the Moscow Economic Institute Igor Chubais, who participated in the action, in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America, noted that he did not meet a single person who sympathized with Alexander Lukashenko among the audience. In his opinion, Lukashenka once and for all lost the support of the absolute majority of the republic’s population..

“Hence all his throwing and shuffling, – added the expert. – He either scolds Moscow for “interfering” in the internal affairs of Belarus, then he asks for a telephone audience with Putin. Apparently, he feels that the earth begins to burn under his feet “.

Now everything is decided by the Belarusian people, despite the secret negotiations of the “leaders”, the professor states: “The Belarusians have shown courage, an amazing ability to self-organize in confronting the tyrannical government – in fact, the semi-fascist regime, which was built by Lukashenka. Strikes began (workers of large state-owned enterprises – V.V.). All together this significantly weakens the position of the still incumbent president, although he still has a certain resource “.

An alliance with Putin can give little to Lukashenka, says Igor Chubais: “Therefore, he is spinning like a frying pan, having managed to quarrel with everyone and at the same time trying to use everyone – from Mike Pompeo to Putin. But I strongly doubt that the Kremlin can go to the introduction of troops into Belarus, because this will cause a wave of protests both in the republic itself and in Russia “.

If Belarusians continue to consistently defend their freedom, they will win, Igor Chubais summed up.

At the same time, the Russian politician Leonid Gozman, commenting on the situation to the Voice of America, he did not rule out that under certain circumstances, military intervention by Russia is possible.

“If the riots and bloodshed on the territory of the republic continue, then in Moscow they may well“ find ”some Belarusian nationalists who threaten the security of the Union State,” he reasons. “There are enough masters in organizing provocations in both capitals, so they will always find a reason to bring in” friendly “troops, if they wish.”.

One of the factors that can prevent a potential intervention should be the recognition by the West of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as the elected president, concluded Leonid Gozman.

  • Victor Vladimirov

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