Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
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Godyfa
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Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
"Belarus will never be a traitor" Revealing use of language...

Quote:Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has vowed to improve ties with the West, which are badly strained, and warned Russia not to oppose the effort.

Speaking to parliament on January 15, Lukashenka said his country will be "consistently and purposefully building ties with the EU and United States."

In a dig at Russia, which has been hit with Western sanctions over its interference in Ukraine, Lukashenka said, "We do not resent the fact that Russia currently is undertaking colossal efforts to normalize its relations with the West. Well, then you should not resent this either."

"All sides must calm down and work properly," he said, suggesting that Moscow's deep rift with the West was doing Russia's partners in regional trade and security alliances no good.

At the same time, he promised that Western countries will never "replace" Russia for Belarus, saying that "Belarus has never been a traitor."

Lukashenka has alienated the United States and EU with his intolerance for dissent over 20 years in power, but he often seeks to play Russia and the West off against each other.

http://www.rferl.org/content/lukashenka-...95421.html
2015 Jan 15 15:04
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Temnozor
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
Lukashenko is a sneaky, double-tongued bastard. Big Grin

"Whoever says that he "belongs to his time" is only saying that he agrees with the largest number of fools at that moment." - Nicolás Gómez Dávila

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2015 Jan 15 15:30
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W. R.
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
Luka's way of thinking is similar to the way of thinking of a head of a large corporation. He may be sentimental sometimes about the brotherly nations and nostalgic about the USSR, but he cares about 'geopolitics' far less than he may seem to care. If the frienship with Russia doesn't brings as much dividends as it used to, he may look for alternatives. Nothing personal, it's just business.

[...] just as it is not left unto us to choose our ancestors, so we may not choose our nation; we can only fulfil, or not fulfil, the obligations that come from being a member of our people’.
© Dr. Jan Stankievič ‘From the History of Belarus’

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2015 Jan 15 19:58
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Aemma
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
^Well, in today's climate, it's not really a bad way to run a country. At least it shows some self-determination, if anything, in terms of decision-making with respect to what (one hopes) may be seen as what is best for the greater good of one's citizens and hence one's country.

~Be the Virtuous Man or Woman you are meant to be.~
2015 Jan 15 20:46
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W. R.
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
(2015 Jan 15 20:46)Aemma Wrote:  ^Well, in today's climate, it's not really a bad way to run a country. At least it shows some self-determination, if anything, in terms of decision-making with respect to what (one hopes) may be seen as what is best for the greater good of one's citizens and hence one's country.

Yes, but unfortunately thinking like a manager does not make Luka a good manager. He believes in a special kind of socialism based on the large public sector and distrusts capitalism and free market; and we all here have to pay for that.

[...] just as it is not left unto us to choose our ancestors, so we may not choose our nation; we can only fulfil, or not fulfil, the obligations that come from being a member of our people’.
© Dr. Jan Stankievič ‘From the History of Belarus’

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2015 Jan 15 22:08
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
Luka is trying to make himself look reasonable and independent from Putin. Yesterday's "last dictator of Europe" may be tomorrow's partner in spreading democracy to Mor.. Russia.

"Devil, I am devil." ― Pekka Siitoin
2015 Jan 15 22:15
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W. R.
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
Quote:Aleksandr Lukashenko has been president of Belarus for so long that he was sometimes called Europe’s last dictator.

But the pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine shook him and, in an interview, he called on the U.S. to play a central role in the Ukrainian recovery, warned that Belarus wouldn’t become Russia’s “northwestern province” and even poked a finger at Vladimir Putin.

“I’m not Europe’s last dictator anymore,” Lukashenko, 60, said with a chuckle. “There are dictators a bit worse than me, no? I’m the lesser evil already.” <>

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[...] just as it is not left unto us to choose our ancestors, so we may not choose our nation; we can only fulfil, or not fulfil, the obligations that come from being a member of our people’.
© Dr. Jan Stankievič ‘From the History of Belarus’

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2015 Apr 11 13:40
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Godyfa
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RE: Lukashenka Warns Russia He Plans To Improve Ties With West
An EU-Belarus rapprochement?

Quote:UNTIL science unlocks the secrets of time travel, the world will have to make do with Belarus. Little seems to have changed in this landlocked country of 10m souls, tucked between Poland and Russia, since it emerged blinking into independence after the Soviet disintegration in 1991. Statues of Lenin dot the wide, well-ordered streets of Minsk, the capital. Inside bulky ministries, grim-faced officials recite tractor-production statistics as a guide to the strength of the economy, over three-quarters of which remains in state hands. Belarus is the only country in Europe to retain the death penalty: in 2014 three Belarusians were shot by executioners. Even the food, shrouded in gelatine, mayonnaise and dill, recalls the canteens and mess-halls of an earlier age.

Alexander Lukashenko, the mustachioed strongman who has ruled for over 20 years, will undoubtedly win a fifth term in November’s presidential election. The colour revolutions that overturned autocracies in Ukraine and Georgia never had a chance in grey Belarus; in 2010 an opposition demonstration after a fraudulent presidential vote was put down brutally by Mr Lukashenko’s goons. Seven of the nine other presidential candidates were imprisoned. European Union sanctions, including a travel ban on Mr Lukashenko, remain in place.

Yet while Belarus remained in the deep freeze, the world around it turned upside down. Last year’s revolution in Ukraine and Russia’s aggressive reaction to it have jangled nerves in Minsk and inspired a partial strategic rethink. Mr Lukashenko, a long-serving if unreliable ally of Vladimir Putin, condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea and did not join its embargo on EU agricultural exports. Having hosted two rounds of peace talks in Minsk, he now urges America to get involved in Ukraine and has even offered the services of Belarusian peacekeepers.

Mr Lukashenko, an autocrat of the oldest school, has not suddenly changed his spots. He is playing the same old game: balancing one giant neighbour (the EU) against the other (Russia). Indeed, a second lesson he has drawn from Ukraine’s tragedy cuts against the first: tread carefully to avoid provoking the bear. Along with Armenia and Kazakhstan, Belarus has joined Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, which bills itself as a rival to the EU (although officials in Minsk downplay Mr Putin’s ambition for a currency union). Belarus’s command economy stays afloat on the back of vast energy subsidies from Russia, and polls show that Belarusians prefer integration with Russia over Europe.

But the new atmosphere of instability has given Mr Lukashenko room for manoeuvre. Unlike previous pre-election periods, he has not felt obliged to pull fiscal or monetary levers to pump the economy. Opposition candidates have forsworn protest. With the region in flames, the security of Mr Lukashenko looks a better bet than an unknown newcomer.

The economy, meanwhile, argues for a shift. Seen from Minsk, the past 20 years were not so bad (for those who kept their noses out of politics). Of the six countries in the EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) programme, Belarus has the highest income per person bar oil-rich Azerbaijan (a nastier autocracy). It avoided the chaotic privatisations of Russia and Ukraine, and has no oligarchs straddling business and politics. Day-to-day corruption is minimal, public services mostly work, and unemployment is low, even if the official figures are massaged. Belarus is the only EaP country that has no territorial disputes with its neighbours.

Yet Belarus’s economic model is creaking, and the troubles of its Russian patron exacerbate its difficulties. Last year the tumbling Russian rouble forced Belarus to devalue its own currency and impose capital controls. Earlier this year Belarus asked the Kremlin for a $2.5 billion loan, but received just $110m. Real wages are falling, and workers in state-owned firms have been forced to take compulsory unpaid holidays. After 20 years of isolation, officials realise they need European advice and money.

Enter Brussels
Small and lacking in natural resources, Belarus was always an easy place for the West to conduct a values-based foreign policy. The EU tagged Mr Lukashenko “Europe’s last dictator” and placed its hopes in the opposition (the regime’s unpleasantness made alternative strategies hard to defend). But now officials acknowledge that the policy of disdain simply drove Belarus closer to Russia. Moreover, Mr Putin’s adventurism in Ukraine has raised the stakes. As Mr Lukashenko wryly pointed out last week in a swipe at Mr Putin, “there are dictators a bit worse than me, no?”

The EU, including hardline members like Britain and the Netherlands, is now rethinking its approach. It will not abandon its calls for democracy, or its solidarity with the Belarusian opposition. But it is considering a range of ways to work with Mr Lukashenko’s regime, from speeding up its visa-application process to support for Belarus’s membership of the World Trade Organisation. An EaP summit in Riga next month will be watched closely for signs of a thaw, particularly if Mr Lukashenko is allowed to attend. But that would require him to free the handful of remaining political prisoners, and he fears giving the impression of bowing to pressure. Bigger changes, say officials in Brussels, will have to wait until after the presidential election.

It could all end in tears. Some fear a repeat of the humiliation of 2010, when the EU’s last attempt at a rapprochement with Mr Lukashenko died in the post-election crackdown. But Europeans are a more sceptical bunch these days. Rather than wait in vain for their democratic example to inspire Belarus, they believe they have identified common interests with the regime and will work to fulfil them. More than anything, Mr Lukashenko is desperate to preserve Belarus’s shaky independence and, thanks to Mr Putin, Europe looks better placed to help him.
2015 Apr 12 10:07
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