The Kremlin wants Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to recognise Crimea as Russia. Lukashenko may make a corresponding announcement already soon.
Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Russia 1 TV channel that President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko was expected to pay a visit to Crimea.
The head of the Crimean republic, Sergei Aksyonov, said that he would be ready to welcome Alexander Lukashenko on the peninsula, where he would feel at home. According to the head of Crimea, Belarus may go down in history as the first country in Europe that honors democratic values and recognizes the legitimate expression of the will of other peoples.
Earlier, the President of Belarus said that Moscow and Minsk were working on direct flights to Crimea. The work was started after Ukraine and Poland closed the sky for Belarusian national airline Belavia due to the arrest of blogger Roman Protasevich.
"Ukraine has closed the sky for us, where we have our own sanatorium in Crimea, in Miskhor. They closed the sky — well, there are other open states through which we can always get to Crimea,” the Belarusian president said.
For the time being, however, Belavia CEO Igor Cherginets said that the airline had no plans to arrange flights to Crimea yet.
Vladimir Putin said last year that there was no transport connection between Crimea and Belarus because of the position of Alexander Lukashenko, who, according to him, was striving to build good-neighborly relations with Ukraine. There are no such relations today, so what is the problem?
Alexander Lukashenko is a very cunning and resourceful politician with an extensive experience of power maneuvering. He has gone through six presidential elections, at which he received more than 80 percent of votes. After the most recent election, when the people of Belarus did not believe the fabricated election results, he initiated the development of amendments to the Constitution, which would allow him to remain in power, giving way to successor.
Lukashenko takes advantage of the fact that the position of Belarus is very important for both Russia and the West. Russia has strategic interests that she must defend. These include ensuring access to Belarusian airspace and military bases, using its radars for common air defense, and maintaining control over oil and gas pipelines passing via Belarus to European export markets.
Belarus's exit from the Union State with Russia will give the West a springboard for an offensive against Russia.
Lukashenko made a lot of bold statements last week. He said that Belarus was closing the border with Ukraine to stop the arms flow from it. He also said that a Russian military facility in Valuyki was going to be attacked. He also reproached Germany by saying that Berlin conducted a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" against Belarus.
Russia responded when Lukashenko declared the need to develop a program for the integration of the Union State until 2030, although the roadmap for this initiative had never been adopted. One shall assume that Lukashenko was invited to Crimea because of that statement.
Lukashenko's prime goal is to manipulate his companions and haggle over some privileges for himself. Here is what Lukashenko gets so far: Western sanctions have not been that tough, and Russia gives Belarus loans and cuts prices on oil and gas.
If Moscow, let's assume, takes a tougher stance on Belarus and raises prices on oil and gas for Belarus, Minsk will contact the European Union signalling Lukashenko's readiness for reforms. The next step would be a EU delegation coming to Minsk to support and finance the new reforms. Russia will take such a development as a threat to its security, and Alexander Lukashenko would most likely be toppled from power.
At the same time, the Kremlin does not want to wait with the approval of roadmaps. The movement to the Union State starts with recognising Crimea as part of Russia.
Lukashenko knows that the Russian administration supported him after the failed election in Belarus. Moreover, Russia helped him keep the power in the country having assigned another $1.5-billion loanб but Lukashenko did not pay back the favor, political scientist, expert on CIS countries Andrei Suzdaltsev told Pravda. Ru.
"Lukashenko took it for granted, and did not do anything in return. Moreover, he is dragging time with the adoption of roadmaps for integration," Andrei Suzdaltsev told Pravda. Ru
The political scientist is sure that it is very important for the Russian society whether we have Belarus as an ally or not, and the question of Crimea is a litmus test of this issue.
"It just so happens that one part of the Union State accepts Crimea, and the other part does not recognize it. This means that there is no Union State. This issue has become the trigger of the relationship between Russia and Belarus. We are developing them, and moving them forward, but Belarus is gradually turning into another Ukraine. Therefore, our government, clearly focusing on the mood of the Russian population, raised the recognition of Crimea before Lukashenko," said Andrei Suzdaltsev.
The expert drew attention to the fact that Lukashenko did not respond to the invitation, as it became difficult for him to maintain a balance between Russia and the West.
"Now, of course, it's hard for him. He understands perfectly well that if he comes to Crimea, the road to the West will be completely closed for him. He doesn't want that. He believes that the West hates Russia, hates Putin, and this gives him a chance to survive. He also believes that Russia will always forgive him in any case. I am sure that he will not go to Crimea, nor will he recognize the return of Crimea to Russia. To crown it all, Belarusian television still regards Crimea as Ukraine to this day. This is an ally that we got," Andrei Suzdaltsev told Pravda. Ru.
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