30 September 2022, Friday, 12:13
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Official of Lukashenka's Administration: The Dictator Became Not Just Disrespectful. He Is Extremely Toxic

Official of Lukashenka's Administration: The Dictator Became Not Just Disrespectful. He Is Extremely Toxic
Anatoly Kotov

A consensus of the world's leading players has emerged against the regime.

Anatoly Kotov, a former employee of Lukashenka's Administration and the NOC, who resigned at the height of last year's protests, commented for Charter97.org on the latest statements by the insane dictator and spoke about the main foreign policy failures of the regime in Belarus.

- At the EEU summit Lukashenka said the Foreign Ministries of the countries of the Customs Union had had "visitors from the West persuading to put pressure on Belarus". How would you comment on this statement?

- First of all, it's strange that Belarus knows more than these countries know about the fact that someone is coming to visit them. Most likely, it's more a fantasy of the Belarusian side. Secondly, if it is true, it means there is no support for Belarus in the EEU. Each of the countries has its interests. They want to distance themselves from all this because of the sanctions pressure.

- Which countries in the EEU could join this pressure, and what does this demonstrate regarding the position of the West.

- Officially, no one will join this pressure. But this will be the same position that Belarus had when Russia was subjected to sanctions. So, they seem to be against it, but they will not join the anti-sanctions, on the contrary. Because there will be an opportunity to make money out of it. Each of the EEU member states has its relations with the European Union and the USA, which they are not going to sacrifice in favour of Belarus. For the simple reason that our country has never helped them in a difficult situation.

- Is it indicative that even the EEU leaders do not want to meet with Lukashenka personally?

- This is a consequence of the history Lukashenka has driven himself into. He has become not just disrespectful; he has become extremely toxic. And those who want to continue the policy of balancing between Russia and co-operation with the West have to simply turn their backs on the "Belarusian Aliyev".

- Huge queues of trucks have been observed at the Belarus-EU border for a long time. Reuters reports that there have been disruptions in the supply of raw materials. Importers incur losses and may suspend the operation of factories. Will Russia react to such a situation at the border?

- Of course not to trucks, because now there is a possibility to bypass Belarus. One can drive through the Baltics, for example. It will take longer, but it will be a question of route predictability. But if the railway transit or the transit through the pipeline suffers, Russia will have to react. Because this is where significant Russian and not only Russian interests lie. It can cause a sharp loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.

- The dictator has repeatedly declared that he will "cut off gas transit through Belarus". How does the Kremlin react to such statements?

- There are two theories about it. The first is that Lukashenka is acting on his own, the other is that he is acting in coordination with the Kremlin in the role of an evil, or rather an inadequate policeman. That is, Moscow is supposedly interested in transit, but there is someone in the middle who may act very inadequately, so there is a need for alternative routes, first of all, Nord Stream-2 which does not depend on the transit countries. Anyway, the story that Belarus may cut the vent is closer to bluff than to truth. It would not be a shot in the leg. It would be a shot in the head.

- How critical are Lukashenka's actions in creating problems on the border with the EU becoming for China?

- They have been critical for a very long time, because China is not interested, by and large, in anything but the stability of transit, especially rail transit. In Belarus, very inadequate actions resulted in the increasing number of trains which are called abandoned. That is, they stand and wait for their turn to pass through the border. This is a huge problem for China. Hence, they could solve it by redirecting the transit to the sea, but it would increase the delivery time and be a more expensive option for China and Europe.

European factories that use Chinese components, or are owned by China, do not have the large warehouses that they used to have, where they could store components for six months in advance. We are talking about normal logistics. In a normal situation, everything would have been calculated by the minute. Now it's more likely that it will have to be rebuilt. It means losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in logistics due to the inadequacy of the Belarusian regime. This is a major problem for Europe and China.

- Is a consensus possible between the major world players to resolve the Lukashenka regime's problem?

- A consensus has already been formed. Another thing is that the consideration of the interests of the Belarusians in this consensus may differ. It will depend, first of all, on the activity within the country. The problem is that neighbours and not only them consider the Belarusian regime is carried away with its playing. Lukashenka has crossed all the red lines and turned from some guarantor of interests into a factor that acts more like a Highwayman Nightingale. He is acting in a completely unpredictable way; he is not interested in long-term stories. So he has become a thorn, and a consensus has emerged. Another thing is how to solve the problem of Belarus; there are different views on it. For example, China does not care, but Russia is afraid that Belarus will turn to the West.