Arrogance between the elites of the two states can be catastrophic to Belarus and can harm Russia’s foreign policy positions, political scientist and the leader of the Essence of Time movement Sergey Kurginyan said on September 13 on the air of the Evening with Vladimir Solovyov TV program.
“We cannot remain arrogant to each other any longer. On the one hand, it is arrogance on our part, when we say ‘We can seize something in Belarus, for example Belaruskaliy, but we do not care of all the rest,’ this is wrong,” Kurginyan said.
The political scientist believes that the Russian ruling class has to alter its attitude to the Union State.
“Share at the elite level. Initiate a dialogue with the Belarusian elite in a way to show that it will gain more from the union than it has today. And that it will be safe, because this is what it fears for,” Kurginyan explained.
On the other hand, the Belarusian elite also has to understand the current situation and adjust its policy, the political scientist stressed. He noted that “Lukashenko’s and the Belarusian elite’s arrogance is as much an obstacle to the union as the Russian side’s attitude, because they say ‘Indeed, look what a wonderful homestead we have built.’”
“It is really good. The fields are cultivated, the roads are perfect,” the political scientist said about Belarus today. And Lukashenko calls the country he has shaped “a beautiful country.”
“He (Lukashenko ― Rossa Primavera News Agency) does really love it. He is a very complicated person, and he is certainly not my ideal. But loves what he has built, and he believes that he deserves gratitude for that. This is his idea. He has done it. Now he says, ‘Now the Russian oligarchs will come to seize everything.’ This is a small-minded approach, one of a homestead man. He is a good homestead man in the sense that he successfully built it, but this is a homestead mentality,” Kurginyan stressed.
Sergey Kurginyan added that the issue of uniting Belarus and Russia has to be resolved through serious mutual concessions. The only thing that must not be compromised is the integrity of the state. A confederation cannot be discussed.
According to the Essence of Time leader, if the union issue remains unresolved, “this beautiful homestead will be destroyed in a few years, and the only remedy against this will be our troops at the border.”
The Union State Treaty between Russia and Belarus was signed on April 2, 1997. The Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko actively pushed for the document. Both sides planned to unify their legislative frameworks, authorities, currency, and the market.
The integration process began to slow down because of political and economic disagreements. In particular, the president of Belarus has repeatedly spoken about the risk of losing state sovereignty under alleged pressure from Russia. He also accuses Moscow of reluctance to lift customs fees.
Another important issue in the bilateral relations between Russia and Belarus are shipments of Russian oil and gas for privileged below-market prices. The stability of Belarusian President Lukashenko’s political system heavily relies on support in the form of these prices for Russian fossil fuels.
Over the recent years, Lukashenko’s political rhetoric has also become sharper, as he can now speak about the Great Patriotic War as of “someone else’s war” for Belarus. On the one hand, the Belarusian leader speaks about fraternity with Moscow and about one people; on the other hand, he keeps escalating arguments around the Union State Treaty as well as oil and gas prices.
Both vectors are aimed at preserving Lukashenko’s own power, including through sustaining the economic stability based on Russian discounts.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency