Comedy that is as old as the world: a clever lawyer defending a young man who murdered his family, playing on the emotions of the jury. At the end of his defence he’s pathetic cries: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have pity on a poor orphan!” And this orphan now looks like a Russian President Vladimir Putin. First, thanks to their own efforts, he lost the “little brother” — Ukraine, and now seems to be losing and the youngest — Belarus. Very soon in the family of Slavic Nations Putin will remain an orphan.
At the end of last week the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko held a seven-hour press conference where he uttered a passionate diatribe. In it, he criticized Putin’s Russia of the uncompromising criticism. Lukashenko tactfully bypassed Putin in his high-profile conviction, and as a result Russia in his serve looked completely homeless society, a house without a host, where the right hand does not know what the left is doing, where anarchy, chaos and devastation. The incredible arrogance with which Lukashenka allows himself to condemn Moscow, suggests that the relationship in this region is rapidly and completely change. But more recently, during the Yeltsin era, Lukashenko was considered “the last dictator of Europe,” while Russia was suffering a democratic birth. Now the championship and “title” the last dictator keeps Putin.
The reason for the daring attacks of Minsk on Moscow was its decision to create on the borders with Belarus border crossings and introduce serious control. The order was signed by the head of the FSB, but hardly someone can be a shred of doubt that the decision is Vladimir Putin personally. Officially it was the Russian response to the cancellation of President Lukashenko to the visa obligations for citizens of 80 countries, including members of the European Union, the United States and Canada. The logic of the Russian response is generally clear: a large number of citizens of these countries blacklisted under retaliatory sanctions. But these sanctions are to follow, if uninvited, guests will be able to fly to Belarus, and then somehow, for example, by taxi, to enter Russia without obstacles and barriers. This is a difficult puzzle, because formally, Belarus and Russia form one Commonwealth, the state Association with its head and other attributes. Once this state has emerged as the nucleus of a future revived the Soviet Union, and he had to join the other contenders. And now, when there will be state border?
After the harsh accusations of the Belarusian Moscow can’t pretend that all this only a minor bureaucratic friction, which is deliberately fanning the media. We are talking about this conflict. The confusing information environment it is not easy to figure out who started first, who and how answered. The decision on creation of the border was signed on December 29 of last year, while the abolition of the visa regime, allegedly provoked the response, dated the ninth of January this year. So it is not entirely clear who is blackmailing someone. In recent months tensions between the “brothers” escalated, their governments exchanged blows below the belt Oh, what about some “special brotherly relations” can only write in quotes.
In the spring of last year the conflict broke out due to gas prices. Minsk refused to buy gas at prices calculated based on the average price in 2011 and began sending Moscow twice less cost. Moscow responded by limiting supply by a third, which dealt a big blow to the Belarusian petrochemical industry, the main export pillar. Special measures put an end to the special kind of contraband re-export of goods, import of which Russia banned under the food embargo. Belarusians are well profited from Putin’s stupidity applied against its own citizens: nalepil confirmation of the country of origin, the Belarusians turned into respectable exporters of everything, from the famed Italian Parmesan and ending with the Spanish jamon. Some Russian measures had a negative impact directly on the Belarusian manufacturers. Still harmless products of Belarusian dairies were declared dangerous to life. But the essence of the conflict was different: in the framework of the privatization of Russia wanted to take possession of almost all Belarusian industry and communications, and Minsk all the forces resisted. For this he paid milk, cheese and butter.
According to President Lukashenko mentioned at a press conference, the bowl of his patience overflowed after the attempt of Russia to create on the territory of Belarus air base, the command and the garrison which was de facto outside the Belarusian legislation. Also, the Russians refused the proposal to allow Lukashenka to the Belarusian pilots to fly Russian planes, so the idea with the base in the end had to opt out.
Meanwhile, in the first reject relations between Belarus and the West began to thaw. A large part of the EU sanctions against Belarusian officials was canceled, and began serious negotiations on the establishment of camps for refugees from the Middle East on the territory of Belarus. For the first time in many years, President Lukashenko paid a visit to one of the countries of the European Union to Italy. Their independence Lukashenko stressed that pointedly absent from the summits of all organizations of the Putin bloc: as the collective security Treaty and Eurasian economic Union in Saint-Petersburg.
After the press conference on Friday, the conflict between Belarus and Russia has ceased to be a behind-the-scenes bickering and turned into an open secret. So from the temperamental President got all the prominent Russian officials: the Director of FSB Bortnikov, Minister of agriculture Dankvert, in which Lukashenka promised to sue the security officials, who demand extraterritoriality for the military base in Belarus, and the Russian oil mafia, which Lukashenko has threatened the international Tribunal for violation of the agreements. The Russian press found that interstate conflict was a good name — a civilized divorce.
The Belarusian President is an experienced political leader, and it is unlikely he would want to conduct too risky geopolitical game without solid guarantees. Lukashenka them yet. Even negotiations with the IMF on granting a loan is not completed successfully for him. But how else could it be in a situation where the head of state places particular emphasis on independence. The General trend is clear and relentless: Russia is difficult to keep in the sphere of influence of even the closest allies. At some point every state on the territory of the former Soviet Union begins to build their own identity by distancing from Russia, and she can’t do anything except watch helplessly, because she had no power to stop or redirect this process.