10 December 2018, Monday, 17:20
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Imantas Melianas: The Main Thing Is Not To Let Putin Absorb Belarus

Imantas Melianas
Photo: DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

In Belarus, the fate of the world is being decided.

The main thing is not to let Putin absorb Belarus. And this is not just very important, but it is the most important thing at the moment, said in the interview with Charter97.org the ex-coordinator on issues of national minorities at „Sajudis”, the adviser of the Lithuanian Minister of Culture on ethnopolitics and the former employee of the Department of State Security Imantas Melianas. He closely follows the developments in the region and believes that on the whole Intermarium – from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea – it is Belarus that faces the greatest risk from Russia. And this, he believes, cannot be tolerated, since the consequences will be sad for everyone.

- What can you say about the results of the NATO summit and the meeting between Putin and Trump? Is it possible to expect changes in the Baltic region and in the Intermarium (Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics) in this respect?

- There is such an expression - „drink a cup to the end”. This is what the part of American voters who voted for the „man in a wrong place” will have to do (and, unfortunately, not only them). Trying to show and prove something to someone, sometimes people act rashly, and then they sort out the results of such recklessness for a long time. We can recall similar cases also in Lithuania, when Šustauskas became mayor of the second-largest city of Kaunas, and when Paksas became the president of the country.

But let us get back to Trump. I think that in this regard the worst has already happened - Trump, still unclearly dependent on Russia, is already elected, and the ridiculous humiliating American people and the entire civilized community meetings with Kim and Putin have already taken place. However, it is possible to find even some pluses in this situation - after all through his unconcealed malevolence and obscene grin after a meeting in Helsinki, Putin has showed his Washington partner, which should strongly narrow a space for the further destructive deeds of this couple. So far, only the most astute observers have signalled the abnormality and danger of what is happening. After Helsinki, even the most stubborn Trumpophiles shut up. This means that the picture has become sufficiently clear, and this, in turn, should facilitate the adoption of decisions, which will be aimed at neutralizing the possible consequences of further „slipping from the roof” (into the chaos ruled by the Kremlin).

As well as centuries ago, countries, located on the area of former Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova), again became the arena of confrontation between the forces of destruction (Putin's Russia and its miserable appendages) and forces resisting this destruction (NATO with its most powerful members - the US, as well as the European Union), so the question arises - is their attitude changed after Helsinki? Given that the decision-making mechanisms in the US and NATO provide for „protection from a fool”, it is unlikely that any personal commitment of Trump to Putin would shake the determination of the Western allies to defend the eastern flanks of the North Atlantic community.

The situation with other players in these area is more complicated, but speaking of Ukraine, it should expect from Moscow not the resumption of active hostilities, but some other nastiness in a wide variety of areas of contact. Massive attack on Ukraine was exhausted and drowned in early 2015, and after that the military-political conjuncture gradually changed in favour of Kiev. Of course, this does not mean that Poland, the Baltic countries, Ukraine and Moldova can sleep peacefully, but at this stage I would advise you to direct our close attention and all our efforts (as well as the efforts of our allies) to the protection of the Belarusian state. To my great regret, it's more difficult to be optimistic about the preservation of Belarus' independence after Trump's meeting with Putin, because the Kremlin has always perceived the softness (especially obsequiness) of some Western leaders as a sign of their weakness, and hence - as a signal to action. The fall of Belarus would mean the direct entry of the neanderthal hordes to our eastern borders, the encirclement of Lithuania and Poland both from the west (Russian part of East Prussia) and from the east (occupied Belarus), and the conversion (for an indefinite time) of Vilnius to the frontline city.

Judging by the information at my disposal, the following variants of the execution of the Republic of Belarus are considered in Moscow:

THE FIRST OPTION. After the occupation of Belarus, the Belarusian state is formally retained (after all, the Kremlin needs to maintain relations with anyone apart from Abkhazia, Armenia, Nauru, Sudan and North Korea), but in reality it is reduced to the level of Transnistria, South Ossetia, etc. Lukashenka is eliminated (either only in the figurative sense, or physically); it is replaced by some more obedient comrade from among the Kremlin proteges (but certainly not Franz Klintsevich - he was too dumb even for the role of satrap). The Belarusian army and the KGB become common (that is, Russian) subordination; Belarusian officers and conscripts are proportionally sent to fight for the Russian idea in various hot spots - to Syria, Libya, the Caucasus, the Donbass, etc. The Belarusian ruble is withdrawn from circulation and replaced by the Russian ruble. The democratic opposition is terrorized, destroyed physically and squeezed abroad; the oxygen is blocked by the remains of free media. The official status of the Belarusian language seems to be preserved, but in reality it is clamped just like the Ukrainian language in Luganda or the Erzya language in Mordovia.

THE SECOND OPTION. The Russian Federation is formally transformed into the Union Republic of Russia and Belarus (SRRB), which initially would consist of two allegedly union republics - the Russian Federation and the occupied Belarus. Taking into account the experience of the Balkan counterpart (the former Federal Republic of Serbia and Montenegro, SRSR) and the quick escape from it by Montenegro, after a while, taking into consideration the requests of the working people, Cossacks, Orthodox activists and other varieties of common people, the Union State is transformed into a unitary United Russia, which will include all six regions of Belarus (or six republics). In other words, the final annexation of Belarus is taking place. Internal order - as in the occupied Ukrainian Crimea.

THE THIRD AND FOURTH OPTIONS. Everything is the same as in the first or (respectively) second variant, except that the Catholic northwest (so-called Veyshnoria) is withdrawn from the composition of Belarus, which becomes a puppet buffer state (and most probably not recognized by anyone else). Veyshnoria will have a permanent conflict with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, and constantly seek for international assistance from the Russian Federation (the same Federal Republic of Russia and Belarus, the same United Russia) and the Republic of Belarus (before its abolition).

THE FIFTH OPTION. In the case of a fierce resistance (which is quite realistic) to the Russian invasion of the Belarusian civilian population and part of the security forces of the Republic of Belarus (mainly from among the young officers), Moscow retreats and leaves (for the time being) Belarus alone. As compensation, the Kremlin takes with it the eastern regions of the country, which were included in the BSSR in 1924-1926. Considering that the world community for certain does not recognize the annexation of the Eastern Belarusian territories, they may find themselves in the so-called gray zone (in the form of „people's republics” like „DNR” and „LNR”).

Common to all these Kremlin options for the destruction of the Belarusian statehood is the following:

- the removal of Lukashenka and his entourage

- the imitation of popular unrest that will smoothly shift to the purchase of the necessary number of heavy weapons by desperate, simple people. And then, look, and international assistance in the form of the Taman and Kantemirov divisions will arrive on time.

- What could you say about how Belarus is mentioned in the reports of the Department of State Security? Belarus is rarely mentioned in the media, especially on the front pages and in the first announcements, as a hostile state, and experts and special services in their reports do not hide that the Belarusian services are actively working.

- I do not have the capabilities of the state secret services, and, with rare exceptions, I work only with open sources of information. What can I say about this?

In the first place, one should never simplify anything (as well as compose something that is not yet available). Despite the obvious growing pains, not only the civil society of Belarus has evolved over the past quarter century. A whole generation was born and grew up, whose representatives lived only in the independent Belarusian state, who use the Internet and other means of communication, and who have repeatedly visited different countries of Europe. This does not pass for nothing (in its good sense).

The generation of their parents, who are now around 50, and who took place as individuals also in the conditions of an independent Belarusian state - do not live on the moon either. Yes, the stench of Russian (and pro-Russian Belarussian) propaganda greatly poisons people's minds, but it has long ceased to be uncontested. In this sense, positive developments are more than noticeable.

Why did we decide that the people living in the Belarusian society in uniform are not subject to the same trends? I have little doubt that in the case of the Russian invasion very many of them will go over to the side of the insurgent Belarusian people, and with weapons in their hands.

In fact, the active minority always makes history, and the passive majority perceives what is happening as a reality. The main thing is not to leave Belarus and its people to the mercy of fate, not to leave them alone with the orcs. At least when now we really feel personally responsible for what is happening, not only with us, but also near us.

And yet - it is very important to see the dynamics of what is happening and the direction of movement of its vectors; in other words - do not forget about the real reference point. The ratio of positive and negative points in the foreign and defence policy of the Republic of Belarus is changing for the better, and it should be able to appreciate (although we always want more, better and faster). Among other things, the noticeable suspicion in Russian-Belarusian relations is directly related to the fact that Belarus, has the chance to observe the Ukrainian (Crimean-Donbass) experience. This, as well as the fact that Russian special services do not trust their Belarusian counterparts and spy on them, is also said in the report of the Lithuanian special services for 2017.

- In the current situation, in our region there are a lot of talks about the hybrid war, Russia, Belarus. What can you say about its current features?

- In our region, hybrid activities are practiced almost exclusively by Putin's Russia, this is its invention. This kind of hybridism is present in almost everything - it can be a hypertrophied concern for the protection of any „national minorities” (or vice versa - about protecting the traditional values of the majority from „immorality” on the part of immigrants and other minorities).

This can also be an unnaturally hypertrophied focus on combating corruption, environmental problems, etc. This is used by strange presidential candidates and even entire parties (mostly single-use). But it is not so difficult to recognize them - they usually avoid articulately expressing themselves on the burning issues of foreign and defence policy (I remind you - we are talking about our region and its realities), or they occupy some exotic-extreme positions in these matters. Drop deeper and find a Russian trace.

- In an interview with Charter97.org, Marius Laurinavičius noted that Lithuania is located between two hostile states, while Belarus remains an important trading partner for the country?

- I would not like to comment on the respected Laurinavičius, but I do not consider Belarus hostile (that is, hostile) state. Rather, it is our potential ally, still strongly dependent on the hostile state. But it is not exactly the same.

- What, in your opinion, is currently the main point in the attitude of western countries to Belarus?

- The main thing is not to let Putin absorb Belarus. It's not just very important, it's really the most important thing at the moment. Betrayal of Belarus will be a betrayal of the whole of Europe. After this, the Third World War will become inevitable. It will not be a big exaggeration to say that in this way we are on the verge - the fate of the world is being decided in Belarus.

- How do you see the possible development of events in Ukraine in the near future and what is the role of Belarus, if we are talking about it, as Russia's closest ally?

- I have already said about Ukraine. And Belarus, whatever they say about it, is at the moment a factor of stability there. But everything will change if Belarus will disappear - then Ukraine will be surrounded by fascist Russia not only from the east, but also from the north. Geopolitically occupied Belarus will become for Putin's Russia the same as for the Russian Empire was the Kingdom of Poland.