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Yuri Kmit: China Puts Lukashenka In His Place

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Yuri Kmit: China Puts Lukashenka In His Place

The Belarusian dictator behaves like a schoolboy who has been beaten.

Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk said that some of the Ukrainian children deported to Belarus are being transported to Russia. And that Ukraine has evidence of the direct participation of Lukashenka and his family in the abduction of children. This is the first time the Ukrainian government has said that Lukashenka is guilty and should be held accountable on an equal basis with Putin.

What does this signal mean, and what is the reason for Lukashenka’s sudden visit to China?

The Charter97.org website spoke about this with head of the Ukrainian public organization “Western Information Front”, co-founder of the Belarusian Information Center in Lviv Yuri Kmit.

— This means that Ukraine no longer needs a secret channel of communication with Lukashenka; they no longer believe that he influences anything at all. Initially, following our strategic interests, Ukraine believed that Lukashenka was somehow restraining his troops from entering Ukraine. And so there was a double game going on: on the one hand, we sort of were for the democratic opposition, against the dictatorship, and on the other, we were maintaining some kind of communication channel with Lukashenka’s people, trying to impose minimal separate cooperation.

It is in our interests that a second front does not open, this is natural. Now, as I understand it, Kyiv no longer considers Lukashenka independent, or capable of influencing something. He was equated with Putin as an international criminal.

— Lukashenka hopes that he will get away with crimes in Ukraine, and will be able to make peace with Kyiv. Can Ukraine reach reconciliation with Lukashenka?

— He plays a multi-level game, he is a political swindler who has a lot of experience. Lukashenka is trying to convince everyone that he controls everything, that if it weren’t for him, it would have been worse. Lukashenka sells what has no price — political prisoners, some statements. That's his whole policy.

— It is noteworthy that Lukashenka suddenly rushed to China from the UAE and flew around Russian territory. Why such a rush, and why bypassing the Russian Federation? After all, it was possible to return to Minsk and fly to Beijing from there.

— If Lukashenka had flown through Russia, he would have been given “valuable instructions” for the meeting that would have restrained him. Secondly, it was most likely a meeting request that was not confirmed, and China loves symbolic things. Lukashenka’s summons from the Emirates is one such signal to show everyone, including Russia, their influence on Lukashenka.

Now look at the ratio between China and Belarus in terms of turnover and population. Can you imagine that the official visit of the leader of some small European state to the United States would be arranged with such pomp, showing that the president of this small country is the best friend of big America? This is unrealistic. But here China is demonstratively showing the whole world how friendly it is with Lukashenka. The question arises: why, for whom is this demonstration, who is the viewer of this theater? And there is only one spectator in this theater — this is Russia.

Beijing's influence on Moscow has been slightly exaggerated by everyone. China, Russia, Iran are just a bunch of gangsters, their behavior resembles relationships within a gang. And now Lukashenka wants to be an equal in this get-together, but Russia reserves the right to individually command Belarus. Today, the threat of loss of independence in Lukashenka’s actions is so great that he is asking China to demonstrate that he has a choice, that he still has a big friend. It’s like a junior student was beaten in his class, and he goes to the sixth grade, takes the older guy by the hand, leads him to his class and shows everyone that “I’m friends with this guy, try and get me.”

All that happened at the meeting in Beijing was a demonstration for Russia that if it takes away the remnants of independence from Lukashenka, then he has China as a friend. The relationship and status of the Belarusian dictator in Beijing was visible from one thing: when Lukashenka said that they had been friends for 30 years and so on, the Chinese leader corrected him that it was one year. And what does it mean? Lukashenka served Russia for 29 years, and only in the last year began to follow the instructions of his Chinese comrades. China seems to be hinting: you have served us for one year, but for 29 years you served the wrong master. It's important to notice such things.

China is obsessed with the idea of leadership among undemocratic countries, which is why the “One Belt, One Road” project was invented. And if you think about this philosophy, where are we going? To China, it is the manufacturer of goods, and free borders are needed to sell them; Beijing benefits from neither wars nor barriers on the borders. Therefore, Lukashenka and China had a problem with migrants.

This idea of throwing in illegal immigrants and blocking the borders between Russia, Belarus and the European Union does not suit China at all. The strike of Polish carriers on the border with Ukraine is also unprofitable, because most of the goods in these trucks are made in China. And therefore, the crisis on the border of Belarus and Poland has subsided, illegal immigrants have moved to the border with Finland. Lukashenka was preparing for the meeting, he asked for it even earlier and knew what China wanted. And he wants normal trade routes across the border, and not these blockages.

It is worth noting that one of the main reasons for the Belarusian dictator’s trip to China was money. Realizing that Russia has a difficult budget next year and, to the detriment of other projects, the money will go mainly to the war with Ukraine, Lukashenka rushed to China to ask for money. The second is a demonstration to Russia that, they say, you won’t eat me, I have a great friend, China. Remember how Putin had already set his sights on annexing Kazakhstan, but after a call from Beijing the Russians had to leave. This is Lukashenka’s motive.

— Lukashenka is clearly looking for a new patron: striving to join the SCO, flying to Xi Jinping. Is there someone who can guarantee his safety? Or will Lukashenka never be able to feel calm again?

— Beijing can guarantee this; after all, the Russian Federation’s dependence on China is too great for Moscow to neglect such things. Everything sanctioned, which is missing from trade turnover in Russia, they take from China. If Beijing presses the “stop” button, Russia stops militarily, commercially, in every way. If we now take away the turnover with China, then the budget in the Russian Federation could fall by 20%, or even by 30%. This is it, the end of the war.

In fact, China could only stop the war by imposing a trade embargo with Russia. But Beijing will not do this. Previously, the USSR was the leader of the anti-Western world, and China played on two sides: either with the Soviet Union or with the United States. It won everything in this role, because it received such technologies that it could do everything independently without America. Now China is taking on the role of the former USSR, the leader of all dictatorships, rogue countries in which there are no elections. And Russia is actually a capitalist country with a gangster dictatorship, in which groups from criminals and special forces have created a gang for themselves that has seized power. And this gang is not going to give up power; they will resolve all issues in their narrow circle.

There are also a number of countries with religious dictatorships, for example Iran, communist dictatorships like the DPRK, and others. And in this group, China is the leader, they will select their own kind. The world is divided into countries that have elections and those that don’t. That's the whole section. But there are still more countries that have elections. Even India is considered democratic, albeit at a stretch; there are certain problems there.

With all this, China has financial debt and problems with the economy. The Chinese leader received quite a lot of criticism from senior party leaders for changing the economic tactics that dated back to Deng Xiaoping. China needs to build muscle in silence, and they have come out of that paradigm and are trying to build muscle against the United States.

This policy can lead to two things. Firstly, it is possible that domestic policy will be tightened; business representatives and independent billionaires will be imprisoned, because the richer a person is, the more independent he is. Secondly, they will become increasingly isolated and lose markets and technologies. If they continue along this path, China will return to the era of Mao Zedong.

— Could China at some point sell this so-called friendship with Lukashenka?

— Easy, Belarus means nothing to China, Beijing will play this situation as a bargaining chip. In reality, it needs those territories that are closer to his borders, the Far East, and not Belarus. To betray in time means to foresee. All that China is doing now is picking up trump cards for future trade with Russia, and on the other hand, with America. One trump card for putting pressure on the US is Taiwan, because you can apply constant pressure by threatening war. The second trump card with Russia is the Far East, the Chinese are already settling there.

The power of China is simply unimaginable, even now they would take the Far East just like that, but they are not doing this. Why, if they can make sure that Russia comes on its own.

China has spent a lot of money to support infrastructure projects in the world, to build ports and roads, these investments should already be returned. But because of the war in Ukraine, this is not happening, so for China, every month of the war in Ukraine is a loss of billions, conflicts on the border with Europe are a loss of billions.

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