16 January 2018, Tuesday, 20:24

Andrei Suzdaltsev: Lukashenka avoids meeting with Putin on purpose


Absence of the Belarusian ruler in Kyiv can be explained with his unwillingness to meet with the Russian president.

Politologist Andrei Suzdaltsev spoke to charter97.org about Lukashenka's refusal to visit Kyiv.

“The situation resembles Lukashenka's hasty departure from Sochi ahead of a possible visit by the Russian president. We see the same situation: He avoids meeting with Vladimir Putin on purpose. Lukashenka doesn't want to visit the places where the Russian president may appear. The reason is that the Belarusian-Russian relations have been put on pause. Decisions to continue further integration or quit it must be made. Lukashenka seems to be unable to choose, so he just drags out time and avoids meeting,” the politologist is confident.

The expert noted that it had a negative impact on Belarusian economy that tries to avoid the ruble devaluation.

“Lukashenka has nothing to say to Putin. He needs a huge financial aid, at least 1.5-2bn dollars, but he has nothing to offer Moscow. Moscow will not make concessions for no reason, because it needs some guarantees. Lukashenka cannot give guarantees, so he tries to avoid a conversation,” Andrei Suzdaltsev said.

The politologist stressed that privatisation of big companies was not a guarantee.

“The matter is that the Russian leadership doesn't need the plants like MAZ [Minsk Automobile Plant]. There's a little amount of local assets that could be interesting for Russian business. This amount is decreasing year by year. The notorious video about MAZ that was posted on your website was a strong blow at the plant's capitalisation. Two Belarusian oil refineries are interesting and not interesting at the same time, because they cannot work without Russian oil. You can buy them or not, but they will use Russian oil. Serious economic reforms able to make Belarus's economy more open and stable rather than just assets could be the best guarantees. But Lukashenka cannot agree on this step now. The current 'modernisation' is a totalitarian administrative process that has no prospects. It's a dead-end,” Andrei Suzdaltsev sums up.

Though invited to visit Ukraine to mark the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus, the Belarusian ruler didn't come to Kyiv.