20 January 2022, Thursday, 14:18
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Valery Karbalevich: Lukashenka’s Political Self-Shoots Are Repeated with Enviable Persistence

Valery Karbalevich: Lukashenka’s Political Self-Shoots Are Repeated with Enviable Persistence
Valery Karbalevich

There is no energy left to solve real problems.

The past week has shown that the main focus of all efforts of the authorities continues to be the struggle for the survival of the ruling regime. This manifests itself in both domestic and foreign policy. There is no strength left to solve the country's real problems, political scientist Valery Karbalevich writes in his telegram channel.

Summit failure

On October 14-15, Minsk hosted EAEU and CIS summits. In turn, the Belarusian capital became their site. It seems to be nothing unusual, an ordinary event, routine.

However, the Belarusian leadership had high hopes for these summits. Belarus is in international isolation, Lukashenka is in dire need of contacts at the highest level to confirm his foreign policy legitimacy. And such contacts are clearly not enough. The current regime's status of an international outcast is hard to hide, even from fans who watch BT.

Therefore, the EAEU and CIS summits were supposed to show that there is no isolation. And the main proof of this should have been the appearance in Minsk of the presidents of the post-Soviet states. Say, what kind of isolation, what kind of outcast can we talk about when the country hosts two international summits.

The fact that quite recently, on September 16, the CSTO summit in Dushanbe was held offline, instilled confidence in the plans of the official Minsk. Only Putin did not come then, because people around him fell ill with COVID, and the rest of the leaders were present in the capital of Tajikistan live. And the CSTO includes almost the same countries as the EAEU.

Therefore, Aliaksandr Lukashenka radiated optimism. On September 12, while at a military training ground, he announced plans to meet with Putin at the CIS summit in Minsk on October 15.

On the same day, the press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov confirmed this information: "Yes, there are such plans."

On September 27, the head of the CIS executive committee, Sergei Lebedev, said:

“We all very much hope that the meeting of the Council of Heads of State will be held in person. At the moment, none of the heads of state has yet refused to participate in a face-to-face format in the meeting in Minsk. Both the leadership of Belarus and the Executive Committee located in Minsk, of course, want this meeting to be held in person.”

In other words, everything was going so well.

However, at the last moment, something went wrong. On October 11 it became known that Putin would not come to Minsk. And then it turned out that other leaders of the post-Soviet countries also changed their minds. Either they were told to do so by Moscow, or they got the signal from the Kremlin right. No one flew to Minsk. It was a bummer. As a result, the summits of the EEU and the CIS were held online via video link.

Once again, I draw your attention to this nuance. Although Putin did not arrive in Dushanbe, the rest of the leaders of the CSTO member states arrived at the summit. And, at the Minsk summits, the absence of the President of the Russian Federation became a signal for a similar decision by all other heads of state.

Why didn't Putin come? I don't think the reason is his health. After all, he holds events according to his work schedule, including meetings with foreign politicians.

I suppose that Putin's refusal to come to Minsk is the Kremlin's revenge for the pogrom of Komsomolskaya Pravda. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was in Minsk at a meeting of CIS foreign ministers, said that he had discussed the functioning of Russian media in Belarus with his Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makei. That is, he publicly voiced this problem.

By the way, Lukashenka did not receive Lavrov, which is quite significant. After all, Lukashenka usually hosts governors of even rundown Russian provinces. And here he did not meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, a very significant figure in Putin's entourage. Which confirms the cooling of relations between Minsk and Moscow.

The self-shoots continue

And here we again return to the topic of political self-shoots, which are repeated with enviable persistence, over and over again. The point is that the Belarusian authorities, by their own not very clever actions, create problems for themselves.

The landing of a Ryanair plane to capture Raman Pratasevich provoked real economic sanctions from the EU and the United States. Was it worth it?

The brutal crackdown on Komsomolskaya Pravda cooled relations with Russia and disrupted offline EAEU and CIS summits. The price paid by the Belarusian authorities for this decision turned out to be higher than the expected political benefit from the visit of the leaders of the CIS countries to Minsk. Whose way was this newspaper in?

Another recent example of political self-shoot is the migrant crisis. Conceiving this special operation, the official Minsk wanted to take revenge on its neighbors for their position, to force the European Union to negotiate on the terms of the Belarusian authorities.

However, the result was not at all like that. First, the expulsion by the authorities of Poland and Lithuania of migrants back to Belarusian territory creates problems for Belarus itself. Apparently, it is no coincidence that information has appeared in recent days that the Belarusian authorities are beginning to curtail this campaign. Citizens from Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, and Nigeria will no longer be able to obtain visas at the Minsk airport, as it was before. Flights to the capital of Belarus from Middle Eastern cities are canceled - even those for which tickets have already been sold out.

Second, the blackmail by migrants did not force the EU to negotiate. On the contrary, the response to the migrant crisis will be a new, fifth package of EU sanctions.

Thus, we see the inability of the ruling team to correlate ends and means. The tactic of the indiscriminate shooting continues with a shortage of cartridges. The thinking of decision-makers takes place in a narrow range of policies to combat enemies, often imaginary, invented out of fear. Nobody considers the consequences. There isn't time for that. The survival instinct overshadows everything, sharply narrows the horizons of forecasting. Only to stand for a day and hold out for the night. In addition, no one dares to contradict one person who is alone with his inner demons.