Roman Bezsmertny believes that Lukashenka is out of touch with reality.
Former Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Roman Bezsmertny told currenttimes.tv how Lukashenka has changed during his rule and whether the protests have a chance to build relations with both Russia and the West.
- Roman, when you were ambassador to Belarus, how well did you know Aliaksandr Lukashenka?
- Like all ambassadors, not only from a formal point of view but in fact. Moreover, it is a neighboring state. I once had a chance to work with President Leonid Kuchma, with President Viktor Yushchenko, and they all, in their own ways, were building relations with the neighboring state, which means they worked with Lukashenka.
Most of all, not only in terms of contacts but also work programs and projects, this work was built by Viktor Yushchenko as the President of Ukraine. Recall at least the projects on energy corridors, the return of the Odessa-Brody obverse, oil pipelines, and so on. There were enough contacts, especially since the annual turnover at that time was more than $ 7 billion. This is a lot of communication. Well, the intergovernmental commission constantly worked, which constantly met both at the level of governments and the level of presidents.
- Roman, you were the ambassador about ten years ago. Do you think Aliaksandr Lukashenka has changed since then?
- No. If we take Lukashenka from 1994 - the beginning of his career - to the present day, then, in fact, this is the guy in which the Soviet collective farm chairman lives, who builds his own control system in a despotic way. In Soviet times, it was called a "strong business executive" who not only swears and uses normal words to communicate swear words, but he can hit and very rudely punish a person. All this lives in a person called Lukashenka. But in fact, this is a person with the issue of a collective farm chairman.
- Do you think, Roman, that Lukashenka is an independent politician, or does he act as much as he is allowed?
- People like Lukashenka have a proverb that has its origins in the same Soviet regime: "A good calf sucks two cows." They always ran between regional party committees and received an answer. This person cannot be independent; he has an owner. His master is in the Kremlin. Such guys will engage in bravado; they will tell you that they are fighting for the state's independence, but they cannot do without a master. Therefore, everything is absolutely clear and understandable there. Today the Belarusian is not fighting against Lukashenka; he is fighting against the Kremlin. And Lukashenka is just an operator. This is the chairman of a collective farm in the Kremlin state.
- As you understand, do the Belarusians themselves understand that they are fighting against the Kremlin or not?
- Today, Belarusians are trying to show Europe a new system. They see themselves as the bridge that can connect Brussels and the Kremlin. This is a daunting task. Let's allow them to claim such a role but still understand that they are wrong about something. They assign this role to themselves, but the Kremlin will not allow them to take this role. Therefore, this is a big mistake, and this is not only a mistake of society; it is a mistake of leaders who declare the building of a state and a society capable of playing such a role between the absolutely incomparable values of the European community and the Russian.
- Do you think Aliaksandr Lukashenka understands the real state of affairs in Belarus, or does he live in some kind of fictional world of his own, or is information being hidden from him?
- A person who has served as president for more than two terms does not see the real world at all. He lives in his own world. I had to work with more than one president; I understand the extent to which these people live in their presidential world. You know, even a person who has left the presidency for which there were more than two terms, he only leaves this role for three or four years. Therefore, he lives in his own world, and he does not understand, really does not understand what is happening.
- What do you think, are there any weaknesses in the Belarusian authorities? If so, what are they?
- The weakest point is the complex. This power is based on a complex of absolutely erroneous ideological messages. The first message is "Brother-Kremlin," the second is "the genius of the Soviet industry." The third is an attempt to find commonality between two completely different civilizational choices. Because a Belarusian is a European. And they are now looking for some kind of unity in a civilization that is absolutely incompatible with European values. There is also a number of other complexes, absolutely wrong.
- If a Belarusian is a European, what do you think, the world, the European Union, the United States react quite decisively to what is happening now in Belarus?
- Unfortunately, both Europe and the United States of America, and most of all the closest neighbors of Belarus, I mean Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania, have been swaying too long and do not use the opportunities to put pressure on Lukashenka, on Lukashenka's regime, which is controlled by the Kremlin. What is important is this understanding that this is not Lukashenka. It is important to increase pressure on the Kremlin, which will make it possible to increase pressure on Lukashenka and thereby obtain assistance to the Belarusian society.
- What would you say to Aliaksandr Lukashenka now?
- Go a-way. Leave. In whatever way, but he must get out of there. This is the only chance for him to avoid a personal tragedy and allow Belarus to develop normally through extraordinary elections to elect power and formulate an adequate government system.
- Do you think that Lukashenka still has a chance to leave peacefully?
- Let's just say I admit this option, understanding the reaction of society. But further development of the situation minimizes the option of its peaceful outcome.