Bad and very bad scenarios prepared for the Belarusian president
Throughout the week, public and international media attention has been focused on the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border, where thousands of migrants continue to remain. MK spoke with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya's associate, ex-head of the United Civil Party, Anatoly Lebedko, about how the migration crisis could end and why European sanctions against Belarus could affect Russia.
The camp of migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border begins to develop. The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Belarus delivered an electric generator there, foresters bring firewood to stop uncontrolled deforestation, the Belarusian Red Cross brings food and warm clothes. The Belarusian authorities have offered to place the children in sanatoriums, but the migrants are asking to provide them with food and not to separate the children from their parents.
At the same time, the situation is approaching an armed conflict. Great Britain and Germany sent their military forces to the border with Poland. On the other hand, Russia is conducting military exercises with Belarus on the border, which in Warsaw has already been regarded as an attempt to heat up the atmosphere.
About this “ MK '' spoke with Anatoly Lebedko.
– Let's start with the terminology – this is a camp for migrants, not a holiday home or resort. We are entering the winter, and the presence of people on the street in the open air, even if some temporary huts are built there, & mdash; it's all the same camp. People cannot leave it back to Minsk. Local residents cannot come there.
There are already several cases when women who live in a five-kilometer zone from the border offered to shelter at least children at home. But they were not allowed. That is, there is an access control on the territory of these camps. People were brought there in an organized manner, and then they have only one way – & mdash; break through the border with Poland or Lithuania. And to do it illegally and illegally. & nbsp;
And when I hear that children are being determined in a sanatorium & mdash; it's duplicity. If this were so, then local residents would be allowed there, and compassionate people could take these children to them. By the way, political officials have repeatedly stated that our trade unions are ready to shelter migrants, but so far I do not know of a single case. Neither Kochanova, nor Lukashenko, nor Foreign Minister Makei, nor the head of the House of Representatives Andreichenko took them home. Although their living conditions, unlike most Belarusians, allow it to be done. Migrants & mdash; they are simply hostages and a tool to achieve their own goals. However, their position does not differ much from that of the majority of Belarusians.
– Let's look again at what has already happened and what we are witnessing. Poland has officially dispatched humanitarian aid caravans for migrants on several occasions. They did not reach the people. The Belarusian authorities have no task to alleviate the fate of these people. They artificially created this situation, which can be traced in the Iraqi and Syrian press, where information appeared that the safest and most convenient way to get to Europe is through Belarus. People received specific information about maximum assistance in obtaining the entire package of services from start to finish. It is clear that they reacted to this, and many migrants sold their houses in order to realize their dream.
People who are driven not by war or devastation went there. Basically, these are people who are relatively successful by the standards of Iraq or Syria. They did not starve there, but they sold everything. And now many & nbsp; really & nbsp; no way back.
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“The smell of war is in the air, and it worries me. And in this case & nbsp; it happens because of one old man who plays with matches and can burn down not only his house, but also the neighboring ones. Millions of people have become hostages, and this is not an exaggeration.
Now there is a certain temptation for the Russian leadership to use this situation to solve its political goals to strengthen its positions in Belarus. But the root cause here & mdash; one person who holds on to power.
Of course, Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles will strengthen their borders. If earlier the cost of the wall that the Lithuanians planned to build fell on the budget of this country, now that the problem has reached such a scale, I think the European Union, Great Britain, America and Canada will financially help these countries to solve the problem. So far, this is all seen as a hybrid war. I wish it did not escalate into a war with the use of force and subsequent human casualties.
– There are several possible scenarios for Lukashenka & mdash; optimistic and pessimistic. Everything will depend on how Brussels will understand whether the Belarusian authorities and Russia are ready to play this situation back. Either the situation will remain at the level of November 8, when columns of migrants went to Warsaw, or it will return by the end of May, when this problem was not on the agenda at all. If arguments are put on the table that this is possible, then I would expect a softened version of the sanctions. Starting from the fact that the imposition of sanctions will be postponed to a later date, or they will personally affect Lukashenka's entourage, but will not affect the economic moments that are painful for the Belarusian authorities.
The pessimistic option & mdash; this is & nbsp; if sectoral sanctions affecting the economy are applied. They can hit not only Belarus, but also Russia. In particular, they are discussing sanctions against Aeroflot.
– I would not exaggerate Lukashenka's capabilities. Shut off the gas distribution network that he sold to the Russians & mdash; it is not a threat to the West, but to Russia. It seems that Lukashenka is already confused himself. He does not have a clear plan and sensitive tools for influencing the situation. If Belarus is blocked & nbsp; as a transport corridor, then Belarus will first of all & nbsp; suffer from this. Because we are talking about about 2 billion in profit to the budget. And this is significant money for the country.
– One of the scenarios for solving & mdash; this is, of course, the influence of the Kremlin. The claims against Putin are that on November 4, the strengthening of the Union State was announced. 28 cards were accepted, where there is a clause on a joint migration policy. This means that what happens at the & mdash; it is the shared responsibility of the two countries. Putin has tools to influence Alexander Lukashenko. No matter how puffed up he is, it is clear that now his dependence on the Kremlin, both political and military, has grown many times over.
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But Russia is still focusing its efforts on Western politicians, including Merkel, so that they go to negotiate with Lukashenka. This is the task set by the Belarusian authorities & mdash; through the migration crisis to force the West to come to him for negotiations. So that the Belarusian issue is not considered at the high-level summit in Vienna, but in his office and according to his scenario.
The second exit & mdash; serious economic sanctions that the Lukashenka regime will not survive. The European Union has been trying for 27 years to negotiate with Lukashenka and teach him some basics of democracy. The strategy ended in complete failure, and we came to what we have.
Nevertheless, & nbsp; many experts criticize the EU for being indecisive on this issue. Can Lukashenka eventually force the European Union to agree to his terms?
There are different opinions. European Union & mdash; a complex structure with different countries with different interests. For some, the Belarusian question & mdash; this is a matter of the main agenda. For others & mdash; this is one of many. There is also a factor of influence of Russia in individual EU countries, as well as lobbying of its own interests and, in part, the interests of Lukashenka. All this leads to the fact that decisions are taken for a very long time and rather hard. But for now, by his actions, Lukashenka is trying to mobilize the European Union so that it becomes united in relation to it.