16 May 2021, Sunday, 21:45
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Expert: Moscow Saw How Vulnerable Lukashenka Is

Expert: Moscow Saw How Vulnerable Lukashenka Is

There will be maximum pressure on the Cockroach.

Director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies Arseni Sivitski commented to Salidarnasts on the agenda of the Cockroach's talks in Moscow.

About signals from Russia

- It seems to me that the highlighting of this story about the "coup" a week before the talks between Putin and Lukashenka on April 22 in Moscow is not accidental. The main goal is to exert psychological pressure on Aliaksandr Lukashenka and force him to make concessions by blackmailing him with such scenarios.

This story comes at an opportune moment against the background of the tightening isolation of Minsk in the international arena and the narrowing of the corridor for any maneuver in relation to another center of power - either Western countries or China.

The main goal of this operation is to show how, in general, the political and physical survival of Lukashenka depends entirely on the will of the Kremlin.

This is how I would describe the signals that appeared in the statements of Russian politicians and the media and that sounded during Vladimir Putin's message.

How Minsk reacts to Moscow signals

- All this time, the Belarusian authorities have been diligently trying to play along with the official version, replicated by the Russian special services - allegedly about attempts by Western countries to change power in Belarus in an unconstitutional way. First of all, by Poland, the USA, and Ukraine.

This informational effect was supposed to disrupt the impression that the Russian side was behind the organization of the coup attempt.

Under the current conditions, the Kremlin decided to merge the content of these negotiations in order to strengthen its negotiating position and weaken Lukashenka's position. Not to mention the additional tension in Minsk's relations with Kyiv, Warsaw, Vilnius, and Washington became an indirect effect of this operation.

What Moscow will insist on

- In general, the agenda of the talks is known. This is a solution to trade and economic problems, which, in turn, are linked to the transition of Belarus to the tax legislation of Russia, for which our country can claim to resolve issues of launching common markets for oil, gas, oil products, and common policies in the field of agriculture and industry.

The agenda also includes questions about the transit of power. Including through the "constitutional reform" and the organization of a certain "round table" with the participation of the political opposition.

No matter how deep the integration would be, Lukashenka can hardly count on the level of support he received until 2015. These subsidies were zeroed by 2020, and, by 2025, they will be exhausted in any possible form.

The third question concerns military-political integration. Creation of a military base or deployment of a permanent military presence on the territory of Belarus. Here we also see that Minsk is trying to maneuver.

It goes to satisfy this request in part. In the form of the resumption of the practice of joint airspace patrolling, as it was in 2013. Or through the organization of a combat training center.

But, of course, this is not the format that Russia is promoting. Let's call it conditionally “Armenian.” This is the deployment of a Russian military base on the territory of Belarus and the re-subordination of the Armed Forces of our country to the United Strategic Command West. Or the Western Military District of Russia.