Posts Tagged Putin

Vladimir Vladimirovich Lukashenka

So here we go again.

The regimes of Russia and Belarus tend to look more and more like twins, identical twins.

Political activists are arrested under a “hooligan” label? Been there, done that. The laws for demonstrations and associations are tightened? Same o’, same o’. Politicised trials for flash mobs in churches and teddy bears dropped out of planes? C’mon, tell me something new.

A Russian friend put it very nicely: She could have been very optimistic about all the protests and anger that rises in Russia, if she didn’t know the situation in Belarus so well.

The Belarusian and Russian leadership are acting as if there were no moral laws, no neighbouring countries, no international agreements and – no tomorrow. For this reason, domestic policy can lie solely in the hands of the elected heads of state and their clique. The majority, minority, the dissidents and well-wishing international organisations can be disregarded.

The Pussy Riot case showed it very clearly. For Putin not just a handful of opposition leaders, but any citizen with a critical and active political stand is a thorn, even if not an immediate threat to his power. And yes, he himself is not a pussy.

That’s exactly what happened in Belarus in the last decade. First the opposition politicians were silenced, now everyone should go into ostrich mode.

Here let’s not forget that a triplet twin is on the way. Kyiv gets less media attention but cultivates the same tendencies.

It is impressive enough to see modern leaders acting to the disadvantage of their country to conserve the status quo and consolidate their power.

And it works well.

There are stars and VIPs supporting Russian activists and unfortunate punks, EU regularly pulling in and out its ambassadors from Belarus, European leaders pronouncing threats to sports events in Ukraine. To no avail. Moscow, Minsk and Kyiv couldn’t care less.

With the bottom line here being general apathy and frustration in the societies.

The possibility for the united democracies of European Union to face the united autocracies of the Eurasian Union is getting higher.

Are you scared? Then act today.

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Russian Bread Crumbs

It’s very likely that from now on the movement of Belarusian authorities towards Brussels’ requirements will be even more visible. The Belarusian president was furious about yesterdays’ remarks of the Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin who publicly cast doubt on the Belarus’ ability to default on its debt by the end of the year due to the dire state of economy. He warned it was too early to say whether Belarus would receive any further loans from Moscow.

“The future of Belarus can no longer depend on Russia… The days of Minsk bowing down to Moscow are over… Belarus needs to look for its happiness on a different part of the planet.”– announced Lukashenka. And underlined that he was saying this in public consciously.

The escapade came a day after his talks with the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Minsk. Putin who travelled together with Kudrin played a “good cop” and expressed hope that Belarusian-Russian trade kept increasing in the period of the global crisis.

Lukashenka in contrast expressed outrage that Kudrin’s comments had been agreed with Putin and commented that the Russian minister had also fully consolidated with the Belarusian opposition which lived on Western grants and tried to teach the authorities to work. (That’s probably the worst you can say about someone: he is with the opposition!)

The stakes according to Lukashenka are high: “If we don’t stand tall… we are going to be running in a sweat to the right and the left in the hope that someone is going to throw us a piece of bread from the table.”

He mentioned no alternative to Russia. But we have two strong neighbours. And if we don’t bow down to Russia, the movement towards EU could become more visible. The problem is that this visibility is nothing new. So there’s little hope this movement is going to be more effective this time.

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