Weekend news could be seen similar footage from Belarus and Russia — in both countries there have been protests against the ruling power.
We can say that such protests were before, and the authorities have always managed to dampen it. For example, in Belarus, various demonstrations and rallies were a familiar sight until about 2010. Sometimes it seemed that President Alexander Lukashenko is cornered, because against him were not only the internal opposition, but also declared sanctions, the European Union, and even seems to be a loyal ally, Russia began to show discontent. But the protests have subsided, the geopolitical situation has changed, and the President of Belarus has managed to take advantage of the growing confrontation between Russia and the West.
In turn, the Russian mass protests erupted in 2011, when the people objecting to fraudulent elections, took to the streets under the slogans: “Putin, go away!”. This forced Putin to sweat, but the spark of protest was repaid.
You must consider an important fact — those events occurred prior to 2014. Now, before the eyes of Lukashenka and Putin’s most recent example of what can result in the dissatisfaction of the people, — the Ukrainian Maidan. In this regard, it is likely that every effort will be made to such sentiments did not spread. The protests, of course, it is possible to suppress the force, but this decision in the short term. Cheaper to change the political agenda. And here we come to one unpleasant conclusion: if you are discontent in Latvia’s neighbouring countries will continue to grow, there will also increase the need for an external enemy, or, as expressed earlier, some observers of political processes in Russia in such cases is very well-suited “quick, victorious war”.
On one of recent a press-conferences the Minister of defence of Latvia Raimonds Bergmanis mysteriously referred to the “threat from the South”. We, the editors began to discuss how remote “the South” meant the Minister. It made you look at the map and pay attention to the so-called “Suvalki corridor” is a small (length less than 100 kilometers) of the border between Lithuania and Poland, which is often referred to as the weak link in the defense of the Baltic States. Through this corridor in the event of aggression potentially should come through NATO, but on the one hand it frames belonging to Russia’s Kaliningrad oblast with Belarus. Thus, this cut is easy to block. But to perform such a maneuver clearly requires the complicity of Belarus on politically experienced President of this country is unlikely to easily agree or set an unrealistic price for this “service”. Of course, in the event of protests in Belarus, Lukashenko may be forced to change their strategy, but there is another scenario. Belarus itself may be a field for “quick, victorious war”, Putin may be using the unrest in Belarus, to suppress the unrest in Russia.
To think about it recently called a former adviser to Putin on economic issues, and now opposition leader Andrei Illarionov, who put forward the theory that before the presidential elections in Russia in 2018 a good gift for voters Putin may be the slogan “Belarus is ours!” (by analogy with the well-known “Crimea is ours!”, what helped Putin to raise his political rating to unprecedented heights). “It is unlikely this case will be to cut “pieces”, for example, the Vitebsk and Mogilev regions. There is better all at once. In fact, Belarusians are quite positively disposed towards Russia. ( … ) the Problem of Belarus is that there is no one who will protect her. The Baltic States have protection — are members of NATO. Ukraine with Georgia while not being in NATO, but was regularly expressed the desire to join in any Western economic, political or even military Alliance. In any case, the West has an interest and some responsibility for those countries and peoples. As for Belarus, nothing,” said Illarionov in an interview with radio “Echo of Moscow”. He also reminded that Belarus pronounced the vertical of power, and without Lukashenko not taken any decision: “Conventionally, for example, that Lukashenko will go to the forest to pick mushrooms, and 24 hours before him, no one will be able to get through. Whose orders will then be performed by the Minister of defense, Minister of internal Affairs, the head of the KGB, Prime Minister, Parliament?”.
A similar question in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet asked by a former Minister of defence of Sweden Wall Tolgfors: “will Belarus following Ukraine?”. It is a challenge that Latvia can not be ignored.