Lukashenko ignored the CIS Summit in Dushanbe
Belarusian president fails to get the necessary support from the Russian leadership therefore he sent Mikhail Maysnikovich to take part in the Summit. Myasnikovich is accumulating and developing Eastern contacts, however he is also blamed by the president for failures with regard to Russia.
Instead of President Lukashenko Belarus has been represented by Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich at the Anniversary CIS Summit.
A week ago in Sochi President Lukashenko had unsuccessful talks with Russian President Medvedev on the most pressing issues for Belarus therefore he was not interested in meeting him again. In particular, the parties have not agreed about a loan secured by the assets of “Belaruskali” or by the proceeds from the sale of government’s stake in Belarusian enterprises (first of all, “Beltransgaz”).
Therefore at the Summit Belarus has been represented by Prime Minister Myasnikovich, who continues gaining scores as a major Belarusian international negotiator. This Summit was the first highest level meeting he attended and could communicate directly with President Medvedev and other presidents of the CIS countries (the Summit was attended by 8 of 11 CIS presidents).
However, the authority of Myasnikovich is in the rigid frameworks set by the President Lukashenko and his inner circle of power structures. The president has the exclusive right to take decisions about the most crucial issues for the Belarusian economy (privatization, economic reforms). Work of Myasnikovich on the Eastern policy of Belarus will be interfered by the security forces close to the President.
For instance, the action plan made public on 30 August concerning stabilization of the currency market ignored the main requirement set by the main financial partners of Belarus (EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund and the IMF), i.e. to eliminate the multiplicity of exchange rates. Prime Minister Myasnikovich is responsible for negotiations with these organizations. However, the President appointed the State Control Committee and the Security Council, not the Government, as the principal implementers of the plan of action.
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.