26 March 2023, Sunday, 1:58
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RIA “Novosti”: Belarusian opposition Russia “relations reboot”


Oppositional candidates for presidents of Belarus are ready to offer Russia a new scenario of development of bilateral relations based upon good neighbourly relations and pragmatism.

As expected, the date of the presidential elections in Belarus could be announced on Tuesday, and the election is to take place in February 2011 at the latest. Meanwhile, more than a dozen of oppositional politicians have demonstrated readiness to participate in the election campaign, which is taking part amid the cooldown in the relations between Moscow and official Minsk. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is the leader of the country since 1994 irremovably, RIA Novosti reports.

“Deterioration of political relations between Minks and Moscow in the run-up to the election alongside with weakening of the economy of Belarus as compared to 2006 creates completely different background for the current campaign,” said Andrei Vardamatski, the head of “Novak” polls laboratory.

Nationalistic candidates who are playing on the card of “Moscow’s plot” have rather illusionary chances, as Lukashenka looks as the most anti-Russian politician of Belarus, many analysts believe.

“The person who cannot find understanding with the key ally, Russia, in the eyes of Belarusian voters cannot be the leader of the country. Rebooting of relations with Russia is an urgent requirement,” Vardamatski believes.

Belarusian oppositional politicians, who were previously oriented to the European Union only, today are speaking of Russia apologetically as of the main partner. The story of “anti-Russian” presidents in the countries of the former Soviet Union has confirmed that to have Russia as an enemy is equal to a political suicide.

“An interesting model presented by Viktor has appeared in the post-Soviet territory. He proclaims movement to the European Union, demonstrating immediate improvement of relations with Russia,” Andrei Sannikov, a former minister of Foreign Affairs and a politician who travels in circles of European structures, said in an interview to RIA Novosti.

Sannikov, the leader of “European Belarus” civil campaign, is set to run for presidency in Belarus. Moscow’s harsh stance towards Lukashenka seems for the opposition an inspiring circumstance and a chance to make criteria of Moscow and the West in evaluation of the Belarusian politics closer.

“It is a new and rather unexpected factor. It always seemed before that Russia is interested in a dictatorship in Belarus. However Lukashenka, who defrauds money with empty promises, will not do for anyone as a partner today,” Sannikov believes.