Officials don't know who to be loyal to.
The Belarusian media published news with headlines like: "Lukashenka revealed the details of negotiations with Putin." And here, it's like with the inscription on the fence: there is a title but no details, writes the Puppeteer and the Sheep Telegram channel.
Here is what the ruler of the Belarusian AMAP said about Sochi: “I am not even going to list now all the issues that were discussed. There were dozens of them. There are many questions."
Lukashenka really did not reveal anything about the content of the six-hour talks in Sochi and the subsequent phone call from Putin. But he told us in great detail about what was NOT discussed at the meeting with the head of the Kremlin.
1. The former ruler never asked for a loan at all, even in his thoughts it never happened. Translated from Lukashenka's into human language, this means: I really wanted money, but they immediately made it clear that it was useless to beg. The material published in Kommersant probably played a role here. Let us remind you: two weeks before the meeting in Sochi, sources in the Russian government learned about the request of the Belarusian regime to provide a loan.
This news caused not only significant indignation in Russian society but also a lack of understanding among the ruling elites. Against the backdrop of a falling economy and a shrinking budget (which means the pie shared by the Russian ruling class), giving money to a person who will never return it does not seem like a good idea.
2. No transfer of power in Belarus was discussed, and everything that the Belarusian telegram channels and the Russian media (including state ones) write about it is allegedly a lie. Lukashenka especially insists on this point - it is clear that it is important to him. We suspect that here the former ruler is not addressing us, but his security forces and officials. It seems that after the Sochi meeting, there was active talk in the state apparatus that the leadership would soon change.
The atmosphere of uncertainty is extremely destructive for the stability of the state apparatus. It is not clear to whom to be loyal at all. In general, a controlled transfer of power is much worse for some Belarusian officials and security officials than for Lukashenka himself.
3. Lukashenka denies trading in sovereignty. It may again seem that he is making excuses before the Belarusians, but no, the addressee is still the same - a Belarusian official. Lukashenka does not understand at all the nature of the Belarusians' fear of being taken over by the Russian Federation. Freedom, national identity, cultural identity - these concepts are deeply alien to the former ruler. On the other hand, Lukashenka understands very well why the Belarusian official is afraid of "deep integration" - this is the fear of losing a warm place.
Let's imagine that, for example, Belaruskali goes into the hands of Russian business. All the bosses, with their diplomas of agricultural technical schools, immediately be thrown to the streets and are replaced by graduates of British economics departments. True, most of them are relatives and relatives of friends of the new owner, but this does not make it easier for the unemployed Lukashenka’s managers. The ideological department is disbanded immediately, and in general, personnel is being optimized. Of course, you can't optimize a miner, but a useless boss joins the ranks of the unemployed.
At the lower levels, bureaucracy does a lot of work that is useful to society. But Lukashenka's high-ranking official is a creature that is absolutely not adapted to work in real conditions. Here Lukashenka calms down his last support as best he can.