Can Belarus Stick to Neutrality Despite Russian Pressure?
Last week, pro-government Russian experts and media launched a new series of attacks on the Belarusian government. Minsk, they insisted, is going the way of Yanukovych’s Ukraine.
Russian commentators agree on that regardless of their ideological colours. Be it the liberal Kommersant daily, government-affiliated think tanks or the radical right-wing Zavtra daily. They warn Lukashenka of Yanukovych’s fate.
The attacks have been triggered by Lukashenka’s statement that the issue of the Russian airbase is far from settled. Minsk already irritated Moscow by its cautious building up neutrality since the late 2000s.
Moreover, while earlier Minsk could collude in Russia’s politics with influential right- and left-wing elements who dreamt of restoring a multinational empire, it now has to deal with new powerful forces which hate compromise with allies like Lukashenka. Exclusive Russian nationalism is ever more influencing Moscow’s policy.
The Russian side is grateful to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko for his decision to go to Russia as the visit after the presidential election, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Belarus Alexander Surikov said in an interview with the STV channel, BelTA has learned.
“We are grateful for this decision,” the Ambassador said.