Belarus: Light at the End of the Tunnel

It happened exactly as it is written in the play of “Kremlin screenwriters” – with a large margin, the President of all Belarus won.

The opposition is trying with all its might to protest and organise a Maidan in Minsk. Right now, as I write [in the early morning of 10.08.2020 – ed], online info is talking about about 5,000 protesters in the centre of Minsk. But it was not for nothing that the army was brought to the capital and now there will be an uncompromising and decisive bringing of the situation to the “right track” [update: law enforcement restored order within an hour of the protestors arriving – ed].

Foreseeing the protests, Lukashenko was overcautious in advance and repeatedly repeated that “we will not allow a Maidan”. It is already clear that the high readiness to suppress a rebellion will ensure the failure of public speeches and a Maidan will not happen in Minsk.

But the west has no other methodology, and the west badly needs a Maidan. Only in the wake of protests that turn into riots and police beatings can the “interception of power” be implemented.

And Lukashenko is well aware of this. Tomorrow [10.08.2020 – ed], the most ardent colleagues of Tikhanovskaya will be dragged to the courts for any suspicious attempts to discredit the current government and the held election.

Today it became known that the correspondents of Dozhd, Radio Svoboda, “Current Time”, and other State Department fosterlings, as well as the band of Khodorkovsky, such as the blogger Pivovarov, were taken under control by the relevant security services of Belarus. For from the point of view of “Lukashenko’s justice”, only “correct” media can cover events.

But the “moment of truth” will happen in Belarus in the next week. This week will show who won the confrontation in the fight for power in the Republic – the Kremlin and Lukashenko or the west. And this is the first intrigue.

The second intrigue is “Putin’s congratulations to Lukashenko’s election victory”. How can we congratulate Lukashenko who stole the vote from his own people?

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Most likely, Putin will not be the first to congratulate his colleague, but someone like Volodin or Mariya Zakharova will be the first to congratulate the “new president”, who will also express hope for the speedy return of the detained Russian “Wagnerians” to their Motherland.

Although for such an absolute statement, one needs to understand all the subtleties of the Kremlin’s game, which are unknown to us. After all, isn’t Putin a spy? And there are no such thing as former spies…

Now relations between Moscow and the Minsk are reaching the “finish line”.

It is extremely important for Moscow to keep Lukashenko in power for the time being.

There are two important reasons.

For consideration of the first reason, I will simply copy a paragraph from a previous article.

“The problem is that for many years, to protect themselves from the influence of Moscow and its demands, Lukashenko had to hire pro-westerners in his team. But now that they have grown stronger and started to pressure him, he has nowhere to run.

Too much was promised to them and not given to Moscow, too much happened behind the back of Russia, he flirted and exchanged the generosity of Russia for pennies. … It is time that the Kremlin squeezed out of him all the debts that he has owed Russia for many, many years.

Only through his (Lukashenko’s) election victory today, Moscow is able to change the course of events and ‘lead’ Belarus away from the west. And this is the most logical and promising option for Russia.”

I will repeat if I say that the Kremlin does not consider Lukashenko apart from his entourage at all.

But in fact, the Kremlin is now helping the government of Lukashenko, who “drove underground” all those who have a pro-Russian position. Moscow is forced to do this in order to take control of the change of power in the Republic in the future.

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This control is necessary in order to replace not only Lukashenko, but his entire team “from the very top to the very bottom”.

The change of power in Belarus should occur simultaneously with the change of the political course of the Republic from the current western vector to the aspiration to Russia.

Therefore, in order to now “calm the situation” in Belarus, Moscow can again give Lukashenko a couple of trifling, but loud “victories” in relations between him and Russia. But the joy of these victories will last exactly until November, when the discussion of a new “big oil agreement” between the countries, which ends at the end of this year, begins.

And here we come to the second reason for today’s “silence” in Moscow.

Leaving Lukashenko in power, Moscow no longer intends to sell oil to Belarus at low prices. The very oil that Minsk is refining and selling to the west and Ukraine today is at least somehow making up its budget. The very cheap oil that keeps the entire economy afloat. Salaries are paid to state employees and the army is maintained. The very cheap oil that keeps the whole “independent and socialist” Belarus afloat.

Moscow’s “contract” request will be tough. Choose: a new oil contract at global prices or change the local tax legislation to the Russian one. Plus, there will be a dozen real integration steps that will be clearly linked in time, and if they are violated, Moscow will be able to amend the contract.

Don’t want to? Then buy oil anywhere, but Russia will no longer support Russophobes. There will be an end to economic preferences for Belarus.

Then, starting from the new year, Moscow’s loan policy will also change in relation to the “non-tariff Republic”. It will also be “tied” to real integration steps of Lukashenko, rather than declarative intentions.

At the same time, the entire information background in Russian news, and therefore in Belarusian TV sets, will explain that today’s stable socialist poverty in Belarus is a merit of Russia. And if Russia did not help, relative poverty would turn into unbearable poverty overnight.

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It is quite possible that many Belarusian enterprises will lose their privileges in selling their goods on the territory of Russia. And Europe does not need Belarusian goods for nothing – there is nowhere to sell its own. An epiphany will quickly come similar to the one that came in the minds of most of today’s Ukrainians – “Europe has betrayed us!”

Two or three months, and the discontent of Belarusians will no longer be based on semi-mythical restrictions on political rights and freedoms and not on election fraud, but on a more real one – an empty refrigerator.

It is an empty refrigerator that can bring to the streets of the Republic not five or ten thousand dissatisfied people, which is how many are currently protesting, but much more.

And Moscow will patiently nurture this discontent, while showing Belarusians how to live in a truly great country that cares about its citizens. But for this competent cultivation, there is a need for a little more time, at least half a year to a year.

That’s how long “the last dictator of Europe” has left to complete his affairs. He has screwed up too many times. Accusations of Russian interference and the detention of “Wagnerians” can be attributed to pre-election fear and false information. But not the interview with the Ukrainian Gordon, where he publicly poured a bucket of shit on the Kremlin and on Putin himself. This is unforgivable.

Now, even with the loudest and most public oaths to the Kremlin, after all that has happened, he is almost non-handshakeable for Moscow. Of course, there will still be some handshakes – protocol obliges, but in the menu of joint dinners, the first course will now always be “watery porridge”.

Because Putin can only be deceived once.


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