Publically announced reason for delay of Lukashenko's annual message: a signal to the West that he wants to resume dialogue

Category status:
April 22, 2016 18:08

On April 17, Presidential press office announced the indefinite postponement of the Annual Address of the President to the Parliament and the nation, previously scheduled for April 19. Lukashenko ordered further work on the substance of the message.

 Comment

The main reason behind the shift is the issue of privatization of Belarusian enterprises. According to presidential press service, Lukashenko demanded to amend the “too liberal” approach to this cornerstone issue for Belarus in the address. 

The country’s leadership seeks to circumvent the conditions of cooperation with the EurAsEC Anti-Crisis Fund, which envisages annual sale of state assets at USD 2.5 billion. It is also clear that managers of Belarusian enterprises increasingly fear for their future and, therefore they attempt to form various privatization lobbies. For instance, on April 12, Minister of Transport and Communications Mr. Scherbo said that the Belarusian air carrier “Belavia” could be sold to foreign investors after 2012.

Most likely, after losing in a conflict with Russia on air traffic parity, which has demonstrated Minsk’s incapability to defend its interests, President Lukashenko requires more time for coordination of means to protect Belarusian companies, as well as to neutralize dangerous for the country’s leadership initiatives, such as the one voiced by the Minister Scherbo.

Official reasons for putting off the address confirm our earlier assessment, that there is an acute shortage of exit strategies from the ongoing political and economic crisis.

Alternatively, the amendments to the text would have been made on a working level and not voiced publicly, or referred to different reasons behind the postponement (for instance, President’s working visit, as before).

Therefore, this move looks like a very adventurous and desperate attempt to enlist the support of the West in a trade conflict with Russia. The Press Office also emphasized that the foreign policy section would be amended as well, namely, the rhetoric in respect of foreign partners will be mitigated.

Similar articles

Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries entangle in confrontation spiral
October 02, 2017 11:57
Фото: RFRM

Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.

The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.

Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.

For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.

Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.

Recent trends

cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china