18 January 2022, Tuesday, 8:00
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Valer Karbalevich: Minsk-Kremlin Relations Turning Much More Complicated

Valer Karbalevich: Minsk-Kremlin Relations Turning Much More Complicated

A new scandal is brewing.

Back in early September, during a press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin and Aliaksandr Lukashenka announced that they had agreed to sign union programs. They even named the date - November 4, when Russia celebrates National Unity Day.

But the closer day X is, the less optimistic statements are heard from both sides. Will these programs be signed in the near future? With this question “Filin” turned to political scientist Valer Karbalevich.

- Indeed, there is a lot of uncertainty here. There was a report that the foreign ministers talked about the meeting of the Supreme Council of State, but nothing was announced about the date. It seems that the date is still not fully determined. Moreover, it has not been determined where all this will take place - in Minsk or Moscow.

There are questions on the agenda. Kommersant recently reported that the parties are not yet ready to sign these 28 programs. This version is supported by the fact that the allied programs were never published, although there was a promise to do so.

Another detail is the meeting of the joint board of the defense ministries of Belarus and Russia. There, Lukashenka and Putin are charged with new responsibilities, namely, the approval of the Military Doctrine. For some reason, Russian Minister Shoigu called this doctrine “new”, although it is already three years old.

The extension of the terms for the deployment of two Russian military facilities on the territory of Belarus also looks very curious. Shoigu said that the parties signed corresponding documents, but BelTA did not report anything about these objects. On the website of the Ministry of Defense of Belarus it is generally written that the parties only discussed, and did not sign the documents. There are certain inconsistencies here, too.

I would also note that Putin did not come to Minsk for the summits of the SNM and the EAEU, although earlier Peskov reported that such a visit was on the schedule of the Russian president. All this speaks of tension in the relationship.

I would name the situation with Komsomolskaya Pravda as one of the sore points. I would not say that this is the only controversial point, but it also exists and is very important. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also remembered Komsomolskaya Pravda when he visited Minsk. He talked about this situation with Makei. This position of the Belarusian side on this issue surprised Moscow a little.

It seems to me that relations between the countries have become much more complicated than they were even in September, when Putin and Lukashenka met in Moscow. After that, contradictions began to accumulate.

I would recall that Lukashenka did not receive Minister Lavrov when the latter was in Minsk, although it would seem that he is ready to accept the most seedy Russian governor. And here is a whole Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was very strange.

Failure to sign programs would be a scandal. The parties have already announced that they agreed on everything, even held a press conference, and then suddenly it turns out they had not signed anything. If they do not agree by November 4, they can simply postpone the date of the Supreme Council of State. They can refer to a pandemic, especially since there is a mini-lockdown in Russia until November 7.