It’s not ignorance that’s bad, but knowing many things which are not true.
Last week, Aliaksandr Lukashenka came up with a number of high-profile statements on international topics. On September 3, he spoke at the international conference on the fight against terrorism in Minsk, and on September 6 in Brest he answered questions from journalists.
For the Belarusian audience, Lukashenka did not say anything particularly new. But for the foreign participants in the conference, the picture of the world that he presented was truly a revelation.
Lukashenka expressed his claim to his special status in the world politics: “I have been working as president for 25 years, I have seen many presidents, participated, and observed many processes. And what I said is a conclusion from the tremendous political experience that I have gained. And I considered it necessary to frankly and honestly share my thoughts on this subject with you.”
And what was the worldly wisdom of the Aqsaqal in politics about? First of all, respectable foreign audience was amazed to learn that the world is simple, like a tin can.
For example, what is the reason for the existence of terrorism in the world? With dazzling spontaneity, Lukashenka explained that some states had given birth to it. Referring to the war in Afghanistan, he made a transparent allusion to the United States. And then the terrorists got out of control, and they have to fight with them, convening such conferences.
With no less amazement, foreign guests learned about another evil invented by the same evil-minded Americans, “including for espionage goals”. You won’t believe it, but it turns out to be the Internet. According to Lukashenka, the global network is currently a large risk zone. “They created this big good “toy”, and now we don’t know what to do with it,” Lukashenka pontificated. Moreover, he expressed his innermost idea about restricting the Internet. At the same time, being fully confident that he is saying obvious things, and the enlightened public simply cannot disagree with him.
Another discovery hit the heads of the startled conference guests. According to Lukashenka, the war in Ukraine could have long been over if Europe had stuck to his plan. This story is not new, Lukashenka has been talking about it from the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis. But the most interesting thing is that no one in Europe or Ukraine knows about this plan or has ever heard of it. And for some reason Lukashenka himself stubbornly refuses to make it public. A natural question arises: was there a boy?
In general, the oil-on-canvas picture of the world, drawn by Lukashenka, looks like this: there’s insidiousness, meanness and evil all around, there is no decency, wherever you look, you will find only indecency. The US has stained itself by inventing terrorism, the Internet, and withdrawing from the treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, thereby stimulating an arms race.
Europe is to blame for the continuation of the Ukrainian crisis, because it rejected Lukashenka’s plan. It did not support the Belarusian Helsinki-2 initiative either. In addition, the EU does not want to let migrants in, which has caused Lukashenka's sincere indignation.
Bad Poland wants to put new missiles on its territory. The Poles also did not invite Putin to the events dedicated to the anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.
Ukraine creates a problem of migrants in Belarus. Lukashenka again called the figure of 150 thousand. Allegedly, so many Ukrainians fled to Belarus from the war. (Although it has long been proven that this figure is many times overstated.) In addition, weapons come from Belarus to Ukraine, so he had to “tightly” close the border.
And against this terrible background of universal evil and the world den, the unshakable stronghold of good, a unique island of prosperity, a bright spot, an unquenchable lamp is the “peaceful Belarus” led by a god-bearing leader who inevitably has to reap the fruits of the world chaos. In other words, Lukashenka transferred the propaganda clichés used by the state media, to real politics, without even noticing this substitution. It is noteworthy that over the 25 years of rule, this picture of the world in the view of Lukashenka has not changed.
I think well-informed conference participants were unpleasantly surprised by such a simple view of the world from Drazdy.
Russia also got it. On September 6, in the Gorki suburbs near Moscow, Belarusian Prime Minister Siarhei Rumas agreed with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on a program for the in-depth integration of Belarus and the Russian Federation, and a list of roadmaps to it. It would seem that in the relations of the two allies there should come the “era of mercy”.
That's not how it turned out though. On the same day, in Brest, speaking to the reporters of the state media, Lukashenka took offence with Russia. First of all, he had to make excuses for the recent visit to Belarus of US Presidential Advisor on National Security John Bolton. Earlier this was done by Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Makei and Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Stanislau Zas. Such a long and intense justification in itself says a lot about the narrowness of the corridor of foreign policy maneuvering of the official Minsk.
Lukashenka also accused Russia of not wanting to pay for the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster by lowering gas prices for Belarus. Previously, the thesis that “we rotted in the same trenches” served as a killer argument for such demands. As you can see, the argumentation of the claims has enriched.
Well, the invariable attribute of the relations of “fraternal peoples” is blackmail. This year, Minsk demanded to increase tariffs for the transit of Russian oil through the territory of Belarus. In spring, Lukashenka threatened to close oil pipelines for repair and, thus, temporarily stop pumping oil to Europe.
More than once, Lukashenka gave instructions to look for oil sources alternative to Russian. They even intended to buy it in the USA.
Now the same threats have sounded, but with a substantial addition. “But if we start supplying oil through Poland, then we will pick up two strands of the Druzhba pipeline, through which Russian oil is exported. Do Russians really need this? No. Well, let's agree on a human basis and we will do what is best. These are my requirements,” said Lukashenka.
This blackmail is unlikely to scare Russia much. The uninterrupted supply of Russian oil to Europe remains within the interests of the EU countries, the same Poland. Therefore, not only Russia, but also the European Union, will oppose such an idea of a transit reverse.
But another point is interesting here. If Rumas and Medvedev agreed on all integration issues, then why is this blackmail necessary? Still tiptop. Or does one party have not so serious attitude to the documents signed by the the prime ministers in Gorki?
Moreover. In December 2018, D. Medvedev posed a point-blank question: the continuation of Russian subsidies to Belarus is possible only if Minsk agrees to integration. Now the integration documents seem to be agreed on. This means that Russia should renew suspended subsidies, meet Belarus in terms of oil, gas, loans, and the nuclear power plant. But for some reason nothing is heard about it. On the contrary, Lukashenka invents new levers of blackmail. So something in this picture of the world is wrong.
Valer Karbalevich, Svobodnye Novosti