Putin and Lukashenko Started to Rebuild a Common Home
Original article: Aleksandr Khaldey – regnum.ru
Translation: Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard – Stalker Zone – 18/02/2019
Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko’s meeting was preceded by the hardened information war of opponents of the Union State. The West participated the most in this war for obvious reasons, because the unification of Russia and Belarus belongs among the most important, if not THE most important, geopolitical questions defining the destiny of the world. Because, after Crimea, it means one more step made by Russia towards the restoration of its temporarily lost borders of Big Russia (USSR)
These days will become history, along with the epic of Crimea. It will happen a little bit later, because now so far there are no clear declared results of negotiations, everything is sewed with basting stitches, the real details are hidden, but by what floats to the surface, it is already seen that there was a serious advance in the construction of the Union State.
Putin again overtook the West on the bend and outplayed its long-term strategy in three days. Of course, he did it together with Lukashenko, who also presented a mass of unpleasant surprises to the West, but he wouldn’t be able to do this if it wasn’t for the well-verified and clear position of Putin before these negotiations.
I always affirmed – Vladimir Putin may not succeed in something on the diplomatic front or in internal economic policies, but one thing is undoubted – he is the most successful negotiator of our time. He doesn’t lose any negotiations that he holds. And even if his opponents can later neutralise something, this doesn’t cancel the fact of his ability to achieve a victory at the negotiation table.
One of the examples of such success is the Minsk negotiations over the suspension of the large-scale military operations of Ukraine in Donbass. The situation became a diplomatic trap for the West. And Russia didn’t allow the most dangerous scenario – war with a part of its own people. The fact that it was succeeded to disrupt this scenario is indeed the most important victory of Putin-negotiator concerning Ukraine.
Now, Vladimir Putin achieved the most important victory in the most difficult question on unification with Belarus – trust between him and Aleksandr Lukashenko was restored. Without this the negotiations would have ended in two hours. But they lasted three days, and the main part of the results is classified. It means that they reached an agreement, and the West won’t be allowed to know about what. A general picture with general words was presented for the media.
Putin carried out the preparation for negotiations perfectly. A strong negotiation position was taken – economy in exchange for policies. Lukashenko accepted this agenda, something that Nazarbayev hasn’t done. Before these negotiations Lukashenko mobilised an enormous resource of support in Russia. He played on contradictions between Kremlin-connected groups.
This policy wasn’t successful because while keeping a conflict vis-a-vis many internal questions, the foreign policy contour is perceived by all groups in power in a concerted manner. A direct information agency of Lukashenko was opened in Russia and disavowed. The counter information wave caused a state close to panic in Minsk. Lukashenko even held a meeting on information policy and security, meaning countering the Russian media, from TV to Telegram channels.
And finally, the parties met at the negotiating table seriously. The situation ripened – in Belarus the economic situation worsens, and the pro-West moods of the population – especially the youth – grow in many respects thanks to the direct support of the administration of Lukashenko. Many western NGOs work in the country, huge funds were allocated for the recruitment of Russophobic forces.
The movement towards de-Russification, a directive imposing the Belarusian language, roman catholic churches, embroidery, and Latin – all of this, which received the name of “soft creeping Belarusification”, steadily turns Belarus into an enemy, shifting it from the Russian cultural space to the Polish-Lithuanian one.
Lukashenko in every possible way made it clear to Russia – he is ready to bring Belarus away from the West, even if afterwards it will cost him Yanukovych’s fate. This is in many respects a bluff, because the main motive of Lukashenko is the preservation of his personal authority. But bluffing is dangerous because it can cross the line and turn into a reality. Lukashenko made it clear to Russian partners that he would rather hand over Belarus to Poland than agree to become a Russian governor. And he desperately shows the determination of these intentions – and he will continue to show it until he obtains a guarantee of the preservation of the space of his power.
Those processes that are now ongoing in Belarus at full speed in the long term lead to a Maidan in 2020 during presidential elections. If a breakthrough in relations with Russia isn’t achieved, the economic situation in Belarus will worsen. In combination with pandering to the opposition, this means a flow of power resources to the West.
Lukashenko is being driven into a corner, and this is not that situation when rational decisions are being made. The main task of Putin was to first of all bring Lukashenko out of the corner that he drove himself into under the influence of his fears and phobias that arose after the Crimean spring. Without this it was impossible to reach an agreement with Lukashenko.
Putin and Lukashenko’s negotiations go precisely in line with the gradual unification of two sovereign states with the preservation of the sovereignty of both of them. I.e., this is the reanimation of the Soviet Union under another name, but on the same principles – a return to the scheme of creating a Union State from the national republics. The best and correct way to restore what was destroyed. The power and status of each party is preserved, and instead of sharing out the pie, ways of enlarging it are being considered.
It is the West that reacted with the most precision to this litmus paper of all our intentions. There is quiet panic. The editor-in-chief of the oppositional Belarusian website financed by Poland “Charter-97” Nataliya Radina, who gave an interview to the Ukrainian TV channel “112 Ukraine”, acted as the speaker of the western position. As the opposition in Belarus pursues its own aims – the maximum disintegration of Russia and Belarus, and wages information war concerning this topic, the corresponding language is thus being used for this purpose. The unification of Russia and Belarus in any form, whatever it may be, is stubbornly called “the absorption of Belarus by Russia”.
The Belarusian opposition long chose a master and serves it in every way. In this case Nataliya Radina is the “talking head” of NATO. This is expressed in her thesis, where she claims: the danger of a Union of Russia and Belarus is so far seen only in Ukraine and in NATO, but the US and Europe still haven’t realised the whole scale of the approaching trouble. She lies – they realised, and her speech is the first proof of it. They were always aware and never lost sight of it.
NATO shouts via Radina’s lips: if Russia and Belarus unite, then, owing to the superiority of Russia in size and resources, Minsk will start to be subordinated to Moscow. Note – the picture of the event that is being imposed involves subordination and a conflict of interest. The thought that the interests of Moscow and Minsk can coincide and become a single whole, that Russia won’t be able to take any essential step within the framework of a Union State without taking into account the consent of Belarus, is being hushed up like the most terrible state secret. They need to make Moscow look like a scarecrow, and without this their manipulation won’t work.
Radina says: the unification of Russia and Belarus bears a direct threat to Ukraine and Baltic states, because in such a case the Belarusian army on their border will become the army of Russia (the direct scheme of thinking and language of NATO). And that this will change all the existing balance of power – not in favour of NATO, of course. And preventing it is possible only by imposing the affirmation that the main interest of Belarus lies in the preservation and deepening of collaboration with the West, preserving the status of its puppet in the geopolitical war with Russia. Is this really in the interests of Belarus? A trivial question… Is it in the interests of Ukraine its war with Russia in favour of the West? And it is the same with Belarus.
Of course, via Radina’s lips the West accuses Lukashenko. He is to blame since Belarus can become for the West a dangerous territory, because he it supports the creation of a Union State with Russia. From the point of view of the West’s interests, this is inadmissible. Strengthening big historical Russia can’t be allowed at any cost.
All of the war against this project of Russia and Belarus is still ahead – up to acts of terrorism and provocations of the opposition. What Lukashenko conceded to the opposition in the form of platforms in Belarus for blackmailing Russia will be by all means used by this opposition against Lukashenko if he indeed goes along the way of unification with Russia. Even on conditions that are most favourable to Belarus – and there won’t be other conditions.
And Radina confirms the direct threat of the West to Lukashenko – she states that as long as he is in power, one shouldn’t “wait for stability” in Belarus. Of course, stability is understood by the fifth column as the stability of external management of Belarus. Everything that leads aside isn’t stability any more. They hope for a fool. This is manipulation of the most flagrant manner, but it can work on an inexperienced mass environment.
Agitation in pro-West Belarusian media, direct threats towards Lukashenko, which are sounded by these media not from themselves, but from their masters in such a specific audience as the occupational [junta – ed] Ukrainian resources, is a direct black mark that is impossible to ignore.
To threaten Lukashenko is to directly push him to the opposite side. But the West seeks not to strengthen Lukashenko, but to control him, for the purpose of removing him when oppositional puppets will gain strength. And Lukashenko understands this very well. That’s why his resource in the game between the West and Russia is exhausted, although his rhetoric will continue.
But in the process of increasing threats from the West, Makei becomes an all the more useless figure as the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was put to make bridges with the West for the purpose of squeezing Russia. In some places this had an effect, in other places it did not, but Makei anyway more and more turns from a queen into a dangling pawn. In the process of advancing forward towards integration, the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs becomes a burden and even a source of the threat of a plot for Lukashenko.
Thus, these three days changed the world. One more – not decisive and not the last – step, but for the first time a rather serious one on the way to recovering from the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century – the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Russia and Belarus are in the vanguard of this process. Everything still happens with difficulty, each side understands responsibility for every step they make, mistrust will be shown in increased caution, but for the first time trust has surpassed mistrust. Common interest leads to common fate.
If no mistakes are made, and the negotiation experience and intuition of Vladimir Putin allows to count on this, the integration process will again amaze the world, which remembers that Russians harnesses the horse slowly but drive so quickly that nobody manages to understand what happened.
Putin makes a very powerful move – he already involves Lukashenko in the process of the joint foreign policy negotiations that Russia carries out with the largest countries of the world. This, even before the creation of all documents, in fact involves Lukashenko in the co-management of the Empire. This changes the scale of thinking of Lukashenko from parochial to imperial. A long way is still ahead, during which concrete mechanisms of interaction will be developed, but the foundation was laid.
Yes, there is a trail of mutual offences, Lukashenko already went rather far in the cultivation of soft power against Russia, but our diplomacy shouldn’t be pushed towards a conflict with him up to severance. It is necessary to be a realist – Lukashenko is who he is, in many respects his phobias are omissions of the Russian diplomacy of that time, and Russia doesn’t have any other partner in Belarus for negotiations.
If what is being done now was done two years prior to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, it would have been succeeded to prevent many steps of Lukashenko, and the Union State, if the political will existed, would already be a reality. Therefore, there is no alternative to working with Lukashenko, but this work must be very delicate and competent.
If everything works out, grateful Russia will place a monument to Putin and Lukashenko on Red Square, near the monument to Minin and Pozharsky. Because what they are doing on collecting Russian lands is equal in its consequences to what these great predecessors did – they put an end to the Time of Troubles, from which Great Russia will again emerge in its historical borders.
And the West will only be able to drink valerian and write lampoons – their habitual occupation throughout the last millennia. Pride is a great sin, which the anti-Christ West forgot, revelling in the victory of the beginning of the 90’s. But the victory was illusory – they didn’t manage to keep it, as usual. Russia always at first loses territories, and then transforms a blitzkrieg into a dragged-out war that comes to an end in the capital of the aggressor.
“A preventive war against Russia is like committing suicide because of the fear of death. Don’t hope that having once used the weakness of Russia, you will receive dividends eternally. Russians always come for their money. And when they will come – don’t hope for Jesuit agreements signed with you, which allegedly justify you. They aren’t worth the paper that they are written on”.
This saying of Bismarck should be engraved with gold letters on the walls of the US Congress, near the portraits of their Masonic founding fathers of America. So then someone from over the ocean won’t be excruciatingly painful because of aimlessly lived years.