But Moscow could not dictate to Minsk their proposals in this regard. The Belarusian establishment must ripen before any realistic and rotary solutions.
This coming Friday will be exactly a month after February 2016, the Supreme Council of the Union state. On this occasion it is worth mentioning that the main result of the summit was the Federal allocation of the Republic of Belarus another loan. This is exactly what Lukashenka on 18 February (a week before HCV), and February 26 was repeated by the Russian Ambassador in Belarus. As it was declared after the Union of the summit for a final decision on a loan will take “some days”… the Kremlin and the Russian White house on this occasion still did not utter the words.
It is clear that the term “some” does not refer to the field of mathematics, but rather to politics. It is clear that while Russian money is not credited to the account of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance, or not left in the repayment of the Belarusian debts for Russian partners (there is such option), the Belarusian leadership on the background of the fact that the IMF loan is somehow “slipped” in April, now, with bated breath, by all means try not to anger the most reliable creditor — Russia.
Meanwhile, it is worth Recalling that the question of allocation of Russian loan to Belarus was actively discussed at a meeting held on 26 January 2016 in Moscow the forum “Belarus dialogue”, where was noted the ambiguity of ongoing financial and resource support for Belarus. Versions were different, sometimes diametrically opposite. However, real still no money… Why?
Where’s the credit?
First of all, it is worth saying that, despite the fact that the Russian loan in the bins RB yet, still there are serious reasons to believe that Belarus still receives it. However, we can not ignore some of the problems and obstacles to send money to Minsk, which are largely political in nature and perfectly diagnosed from Moscow.
First, it is necessary to remind that the situation in Russia remains difficult. In February there was some recovery, but overall things remain unsatisfactory. In the circumstances, to allocate credit to Belarus are extremely difficult, as you need the money to someone to pick up, and such articles without the “armor” in the Russian budget is not much and they are usually of a social nature.
As a result, in the case of even allocation of money (say their is already clearly less than us $ 2 billion), it will be necessary to explain to the Russians, who have enough problems that they “will interrupted,” as for the Belarusians their money “more”. With regard to the policies of Minsk towards Moscow (many years of practice of real cases of substitution the representations and oaths), make it to the Russian authorities extremely difficult.
In the Russian elite now prevalent opinion that the hard confrontation between Moscow and the West allowed to test as partners in the Eurasian integration and the “allied staff”. We can say that the result of this kind of casting is poor, with Belarusian media, naturally do not agree. But should pay attention to the question about placing in Belarus the Russian air base against which unanimously took up arms and the Belarusian authorities and sort them opposing the opposition.
At the January conference “Belarusian dialogue” all the representatives of Belarus were United in the fact that “you (Russia) base in Belarus is not needed.” Actually the question of the necessity of bases in Belarus puts the General staff of the Russian army, and not representatives of the Belarusian political class, but another thing is that Minsk has every right to refuse to accept an ally’s base that A. Lukashenko did in October for a few days before elections in a manner peculiar to him: “you hear it First!”.
In the end, at the February summit, the question of basis was not raised. Careful observation of the reaction of the Belarusian leadership, which, of course, was impressed by the passivity of the Kremlin on this matter, allowed to come to the conclusion that A. Lukashenko was even disappointed that he failed to bargain with Moscow on such a vital topic to raise your rating in anti-establishment circles of the Belarusian and the West.
In addition, the Belarusian authorities have already anticipated the account which they will put “ally” for the appearance of Russian aircraft near Bobruisk. However, Moscow is silent and asks nothing…
In Minsk do not understand that they just checked-tested, as they say, “lice”? Did somebody in the Belarusian media will be offended lighten up on the pretext that the Belarusian “ally” in Moscow “not respecting” – not set, not provided, not made, not bought… and I want to ask: What is “ally”? Where you saw “ally”?
The whole story with the Russian air base in Belarus, and indirectly confirm the thesis that there are no radical differences between the Belarusian authorities and the opposition, except the desire to seize each other’s power.
But it should be noted that A. Lukashenko’s refusal to host Russian base HQs in a time when the Russian planes and helicopters were moved to Syria (October 2016), dealt a crushing blow to the image of Belarus in Russia.
The image of Belarus in Russia
First, the problem is compounded by the fact that the Belarusian authorities themselves are not actually working with the Russian political class, focusing on marginalized segments of the Russian population and political forces on the Russian political field, often substituting a serious dialogue with the opinion leaders in the establishment of the Russian cultural programs in the style of “two of bootstrap – three of the stamp movement”. If we consider that the cultural potential of Russia is huge and amazingly diverse, this practice of Belarusians in Russia looks a bit weird and overly provincial.
Secondly, the situation in Belarus remains extremely unsatisfactory. On the one hand, it would be unfair not to mention that now in the economic departments of the Republic there is quite a considerable intellectual potential. There is a new generation of professionals that has quite a realistic insight into the socio-economic problems experienced by Belarus and is able to submit a number of proposals adequate to the scale faced by the Republic tasks.
But on the other hand, the policy of the top leadership of the Republic continues to be of concern. It, not having the political will to start reforms, frantically looking for money and only money, obbivaya thresholds of all possible external creditors, and literally scraping and so very poor own people insane prices for housing and utilities services, excise taxes, actually the deprivation of the pensions of a considerable part of the population (pensioners will work to ensure that their children and grandchildren can pay Lukashenka tax for parasitism), etc.
Realistic way out of the crisis, the Belarusian authorities, apparently, not able to formulate that says about the impasse faced by the Republic. For example, can result in something close to the situation in Ukraine, where the authorities with one side actually trying to run the very difficult reforms, including tax and pension (!), but do not have the critical mass to support these reforms in the Ukrainian society.
On the other hand, relying only on the right sector Ukrainian political spectrum, which in the conditions of rigidly formatted Ukrainian political field has the exclusive right to seats in Parliament, the authorities are not able to optimize the government of Ukraine (to replace A. Yatsenyuk). The country is divided in a number of sectors that makes the authorities who are afraid of finally “rock the boat”, unable to take decisive turns in its economic and social policy.
But, even based on the Ukrainian experience, the passivity of the Belarusian leadership requires its additional “interpretation”. It is clear that, given the almost exclusive economic dependence of Belarus from Russia, it is difficult to demand from the leadership of the Republic a certain breakthrough plan, while the Russian political class and expert community has not concluded the discussion about the restructuring of the Russian economy. But at the same time, we should not forget that the leadership of Russia and Belarus profess different ideologies and are looking for ways out of the crisis in different and sometimes opposing paradigms.
Moreover, there is no mystery in the fact that the Belarusian government continues to hope that the Russian government sooner or later will be replaced, and in the Kremlin you’ll be loyal created in Belarus socio-economic system. So you just need to wait…
The last two decades the Belarusian authorities are constantly trying to impose to the Russian establishment of the Belarusian experience in solving social and economic tasks, “forgetting” that if Belarus, for decades relying on almost unlimited financial and resource support from Russia, could claim some social achievements, which, however, quickly evaporated in the current economic conditions, Russia had no sponsors had no debts she has never been written off, loans are not restructured, imports and preferential prices none of the “allies” did not provide.
On the other hand, a full discussion on the exit of the Republic of complex structural crisis (something reminiscent of 2011) to be deployed in the Republic for understandable political reasons — it is impossible. The Belarusian authorities and the opposition to each other’, but they both nod at Russia.
The Russian leadership, which in turn understands that to continue to sit and wait for the authorities of the Republic will Wake up from any regular Chinese, European, Turkish or Turkmen hopes and fantasies are counterproductive, since in any case the end is known. He’s already arrived in the Belarusian economy (the notorious Belarusian “stability”): people storm the offices, crowded trains taken to Russia, where a fair amount of unemployment, the Belarusian guest workers, the people stockpiling sugar, canned meat condensed milk and vegetable oil… But in the end on the doorsteps of government offices in Moscow and again start to flicker and dim gloomy face “Temasek” — couriers with an outstretched hand from the blue-eyed.
Of course, that Russia, as a major creditor, is worried that Belarus was involved in the suicide cycle: life from loan to loan. No way to live… But Moscow could not dictate to Minsk their proposals in this regard. The Belarusian establishment must ripen before any realistic decisions and turning around which must develop public consensus. Dialogue is necessary.
The Responsibility Of Moscow
Some may say that “everything is in the hands of Moscow” and her just need to give Lukashenka money (credits). Like, in this case, anywhere the Belarusian President is not going anywhere and will start the reforms.
But, first, there is nothing worse and disastrous than simple solutions. Especially in politics and Economics. Unfortunately, these primitive performances, along with highly developed acquisitive instinct, literally dominate the attitudes of the Belarusian political class.
Secondly, not getting financial and resource support from Russia, the Belarusian ruling establishment, concerned only with keeping power in its hands, calmly and deliberately put the nation in complete poverty and would bankrupt the Republic. While the ruling “family” no risk, throwing all the blame for the failure of dependency of the Belarusian economic model exclusively in Russia.
The effect of this will be to have political format: blackmail Russia, “abandoned to their fate brotherly people,” threats “to go finally to the West” in Ukrainian format, the appearance on the territory of Russia Belarusian guest workers, and the Belarusian economic refugees, who will need to take care of. The stability of Lukashenka’s regime will only intensify.
Meanwhile, as noted by the author of these lines, Russia is objectively interested in a sovereign and independent the Republic of Belarus, having a sustainable economy and social stability.
It turns out that more or less “simple” decision of the Belarusian rebus there is no? There is no simple solution to this complex and multifactorial scenario of reorganization of the Republic. However, in order for it to run, or at least represent, the project should be discussed in the widest possible format, including representatives not only of the Belarusian authorities and their political opponents, but also the Belarusian civil society and expert community of Belarus and Russia.
Who needs dialogue?
Of course, someone might defiantly to shy away from such dialogue, as, for example, in January, before the first conference did representatives of the Belarusian movement of entrepreneurs. Apparently, these people claim a knowledge of some truths that do not require discussion and participation in the dialogue, I hope that the nationalism that they so vehemently profess to support thousands of entrepreneurs who left their jobs in the Belarusian market.
I would like to remind that, first, Moscow dialogue format removes many of the restrictions and obstacles that exist in the communications between the political forces operating on the domestic market.
Secondly, wide format dialogue does not leave the prospects of the political forces which ignore it. Their place is on the side of a broad political road leading to the revival of the Republic.