“The latest statement by Lukashenka confirms concerns that he is trading the country behind the back of the Belarusian nation,” stated the leader of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Andrei Sannikov.
Today during the visit to Hrodna region Alyaksandr Lukashenka commented on his signing agreement on creation of the integrated regional air defence system of Belarus and Russia. Making boorish comments about the opposition as usual, he said:
“It is impossible to have some benefits, you have to pay for them by something, for instance, to protect the territory from which we receive cheaper gas by air defense system. They [opposition] state that I have sold the sovereignty, that I have sent people to “hot spots”. They have always been accusing me of that… If you want somebody to make concessions to you and give something cheaper, you have to meet them halfway too and make something cheaper for them. Otherwise, one should switch to world prices like Germany, then there would be complete independence, and we wouldn’t have to beg for gas from Russia. Would we be able to endure that? Not yet, so we have to make some concessions,” the Belarusian dictator stated.
In this connection the leader of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Andrei Sannikov stated in the interview to the Charter’97 press-service:
“The latest statement by Lukashenka confirms concerns that he is trading the country behind the back of the Belarusian nation. He has not just made concessions to Russia, he has created a possibility for Russian troops to be present and to act at the territory of Belarus. Those who are saying that the signed agreement has just formalised the existing state of affairs, are misleading Belarusians, as legally formalised participation of Belarus in military plans of Russia creates a situation when Russia can use any methods for implementation of its imperial interests.
Rapid-response forces are nothing else than the Russian troops that will get liberty of actions on the territory of other countries, including Belarus. Russia used to protect its actions with a mandate of the so called CIS peacekeeping forces, which just aggravated conflicts in real fact. The Kremlin decided to raise its military presence in the CIS region to a higher level and by insignificant concessions on economic issues has created a possibility for itself to protect acceptable authoritarian regimes. Lukashenka yielded to Kremlin’s pressure wilfully, his aim is to preserve his power even at the cost of sovereignty and independence of Belarus.
In think the recent actions of Lukashenka must sober European politicians, who still hope to “correct” him. The global crisis, strange to say, gives democratic states more means of influence on dictatorial regimes than in economically calm times. Having signed dangerous agreements with Russia, Lukashenka sent his representative Martynau to the largest EU’s state, Germany, in hope to continue a “policy of promises” in exchange for western loans. I hope Martynau will have a conversation not with representatives of Germany of Gerhardt Schröder, head of one of Gazprom’s projects, but with officials of a big European democratic state, who cannot but see that such actions of Lukashenka create a threat to the EU’s security.