Lukashenka is pretty tired.
The country is tired to be without a leader. Many people are confused, they do not know how to live. Only yesterday everything was clear - we needed to move on. And today the darkness is everywhere. And no one knows where this mysterious "move on" disappeared. Because only the ruler knows the direction.
And he is just tired. However, not enough for him to say "I quit". It has been an increasingly hard year. Three great deeds marked it. First of all, the legendary decree about spongers, adopted and readopted by him. Then those joint military exercises with Russia, when he bravely defeated an imaginary enemy. And, of course, a nationwide battle for the harvest. And here the ruler stands out. From the very beginning till the very end everything was perfect. It was an overwhelming victory.
After such a hard work an ordinary person would sit back on a sofa and relaxed, or would buy a ticket to have a vacation. But he cannot. He is a hard-working person. It leads the country to uncharted territory. But a warm sea allures.
A vacation is an ordinary thing. Even the Soviet authority did not try to eradicate it. Right after the war one could see an unusually optimistic poster on ruins. A happy holidaymaker. Palms. Blue ocean. And a lively slogan: "Save money in a bank - buy a ticket to a resort." Yes, of course! Who could sell him a ticket? But such posters were desperately needed. They persuaded everyone in their right to have a deserved vacation.
But it's not as easy as it may seem with high officials. Because they are at the helm. And they should always be vigilant. When leaving his office Stalin always left it turned on. To let everyone know and remember that the ruler burns the midnight oil because of the people. Those times fell into oblivion long ago. And the tradition is still obeyed. At least, in our country. Even a usual desire to lie on a sofa or dive in a warm sea is presented as a great event. And it is considered as a deed.
Citizens watching TV sets suddenly find out that our main objective is the United Arab Emirates. The ruler's subordinates even drew some pictures. It turns out that in January-August export to that country equaled to $44.8 billion. Is it not much? But this is 318 percent compared to the same period last year. That's a miracle! And if you take into account that the total amount of UAE direct investments in the economy of Belarus amounted to $11 million for the past six months, everyone can understand where our main breakthrough is possible. And if we're lucky enough, we'll even get a loan. And that was the place the ruler found himself in.
And idle talks about the rest are a lie. His official website officially informs: a working trip. And the schedule was thoroughly obeyed. However, there are nuances. It is possible, isn't it? Everything somehow started from the Minister of Justice. Perhaps, the high guest was very eager to talk about his success in human rights protection. And it was easy to make the national poet liable. For publication, as it happened in better times. And the wind of the 37th year swept over the country. How can one not share this news with friends?
And then a long pause comes that involves a usual relax in such cases. It's the East, baby! Palms. Sheikhs. Fountains. The Emirates have a tradition: as soon as they see an overseas visitor on the horizon, they immediately offered him to have a rest. And one must agree. And this is the reason why the working visit lasts for so long. But on second thought there is no reason to be in a hurry.
It only seems that such visits raise no interest. The rumor about a compulsory rest on the coast immediately became public. Folk storytellers were the first to react. There was a legend, that a visitor fatally tired of hospitality escaped protection and went to the depth of the great desert. And in a trembling haze heat he saw three riders on white camels. It was hard to recognize them - Lawrence of Arabia, Chingachgook Big Serpent and Vladimir Ilyich. The traveler noted this sign of fate and asked about the most important thing: whether it was the right way to a blessed Sheikh El-Credit?
Sir Lawrence arrogantly silenced. Chingachgook made an obscene gesture. He is just a savage! And the great leader responded: "It's the right way, comrade!" And raised his eyebrows.
However, he failed to reach the destination. The sand rustled. The hot air trembled. The mirage disappeared. And the ubiquitous guard has already picked up the trail. And it delivered the lost guest to the place of his vacation.
And when two weeks of serenity were almost over, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi finally appeared. He is the deputy commander-in-chief; he is also the younger brother of the president. And, by a lucky chance, he is the owner of the company which owns thirty-two hectares of the hunt near Lahoisk. And he also owns an extensive lawn in the center of Minsk which appeared as if at the mercy of an obliging gin on the site of the Hospital No. 2 and a well-known exhibition pavilion.
With such initial data, of course, there were many common topics to discuss. Time passed, and with each new turn it more and more resembled a fairy tale.
The parties parted infinitely pleased with each other. The extended visit ended well. It was so successful that even a regular participant in such negotiations, Sheikh El-Kredit, was not needed.
The airplane loaded with children, sportsmen and other accompanying persons retraced its course. The ruler managed to timely congratulate the country on the centenary of the St. Petersburg coup. "The right way..." Has anyone any doubt? Step to the left, step to the right, and then - according to a well-known expression. The country is flourishing.
Everything is great and surprisingly harmonious in the regime-emirate relations. The hasty statistics is the only thing that spoils a mutual grandeur. And who needs these stupid figures - an unprecedented percentage of growth in turnover and ill-fated eleven million dollars of direct eastern investment. Money doesn't bring happiness. In ancient times greedy explorers tried to grab all kinds of spices, incense, and pearls produced by poor divers on exotic shores. And now the wisest traveling salesman brings Arab tales.
The product is really precious as these things go. And immensely profitable. Especially for those who are in power.
Uladzimir Khalip specially for Charter97.org