Russia has been experiencing the revival of its traditional imperial character for a few years now. After some forced land incorporation from Ukraine, Russian leaders view Belarus as a potential, quite easy, acquisition. The task won`t pose any problems because Belarusian society is completely indifferent about the possible change of their status. They already speak Russian in everyday life, watch Russian TV and generally support Russia. There won`t be a war like with Ukraine.
MINSK, Belarus – The leader of Belarus on Friday accused some politicians in Russia of floating the prospect of incorporating his nation, and vowed that he wouldn't let it happen.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko also criticized the Kremlin's plan to raise crude oil prices for Belarus, describing it as part of efforts to persuade his country to join Russia.
"I understand what all those hints mean: You get the oil but you break up your country and join Russia," he said at a news conference.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lukashenko engaged in televised bickering during a meeting of a Moscow-dominated economic alliance earlier this month, with the Belarusian leader assailing Moscow for its intention to charge higher prices for energy supplies to Belarus.
Putin countered that Belarus would still get the energy resources at much cheaper prices than others, and noted that a deeper integration is needed to level the prices between the two countries.
Lukashenko on Friday cited Russian ultranationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky as one of those who have suggested that Belarus should be incorporated into Russia.
"It will never happen," the Belarusian president said. "Sovereignty is a sacred thing for us."
Lukashenko has ruled the nation of 10 million with an iron hand for nearly a quarter century, cracking down on dissent and the media. He has relied on Russia's loans and cheap energy to keep Belarus' Soviet-style economy afloat.
Despite the close political, economic and military ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbors, Lukashenko has bristled at what he described as Moscow's attempts to subdue his nation.
"Is Russia ready today to incorporate separate Belarusian regions or the country as a whole?" he asked rhetorically, warning Moscow to think of the consequences of such move. "How will people in our country and your country will look at it, what will be the reaction of the international community to that kind of stealthy incorporation of one country into another?"
Lukashenko also noted that he rejected Russia's push to set up an air force base in Belarus, arguing that the close military ties between the two countries made it unnecessary.
Russia's desire to open the base has unnerved many in Belarus, raising fears that Moscow could use the facility to take over the country like it did in Crimea, where it used its naval base there to annex Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula in 2014.
But even as he issued rebukes and warnings to the Kremlin, the Belarusian leader pledged to maintain a close alliance with Moscow.
Lukashenko noted that he has no intentions of charging Russia for using the two military facilities it has in Belarus — an early warning radar and a naval communications center.
"I'm not even raising the issue of payment," he said. "It would be improper to ask Russia to pay for them."
Russians press on tightening the political and ecomomic ties with Belarus, e.g, the same currency. The reason is simple - Vladimir Putin has to give up his current position in 2024 according to Russian constitution. Thanks to the integration of Russia and Belarus into one country, he will be able to remain in the politics for a long time as a president of Russia Belarus Union.
Poland and the West will do nothing because it is not their business to defend Lukashenka and Belarussians against their will - most of them don`t really mind being under Russian control and domination. I took effort and dug up my old discussions in the Russian forum from 2006-2007. The situation was identical - Russians pressed on Belarus to pay its debts and Lukashenka resisted, while Poland traditionally objected to building the North Stream oil pipe.
I talked to a woman who considered herself Belarussian with Russian and Polish roots - her nick was Tamara/Tatyana. She strongly supported Russia and criticised Poland. When the conversation didn`t fulfill her expectations, when sb disagreed with her and presented logical counter arguments, she would call people Nazis etc.
Hey - your buddies (the Brits) betrayed you to the Soviets ---- and you still suck up to them all.... I wonder why the silly Soviets developed your Shipyards at the expense of their own industry .... So how many shipyards have your buddies devekoped .... May I suggest that cheap indentured labour suits you Poles just right ..... in Germany - Britain .... you look good as temporary throw away workers .... Go and l..k a... some more ..... maybe they will agree to buy off your lands somewhere in a nature reserve.........But remember how you occupied Belarus ....... DON"T YOU FORGET HOW YOU BRUTALIZED MY PEOPLE........what a benelovent Imerialist Poland ... ..... how benign ..... killing off my "Belarusan" ancestry .....
- tell that to the Jewish people or all the Poles who perished in KZ - slave camps ......or to my Belarusan parents and the Belarusan population who were in Nazi Slave camps or systematically exterminated BECAUSE THEY WERE SLAVS ....--- you are a b......y creep - buzz off ------ NAZI !!!!!!!!!!!!!
12/13/06 Well, I am definately a Belarussian - I can give you some anecdotal personal observation : in general Belarussians feel very much as being kiss and kin of the Great Russians ---- they absolutely adore the Russian culture --- their literature, their classical music, their artistic prowess ---- I found both my parents (and we have German and Polish in our blood lines) very much a very peaceful but proud people ---- closer though to the Latvians -- did not midn the Poles too much --- but were cautious of their 'delusions' ....
1/2/07 I can give you some anecdotal info gleaned from my clients - Belarusans - in general they believe that the Belrusian economy is doing very very well - thanks to the cheap supply of subsidized Russian Gas and Oil --- they seem to be cognizant of that ---- that they maintain their reasonable good standard of living, stable wages, secure indexed pensions and benefits including subsidized housing and medicare ---- BECAUSE of the Russian natural resources -----Or are you imagining fairy dust being sprinkled by Uncle Sam on the Belarussian people - and then all have an AH moment and see the lig
1/2/07 No, I am imagining how happy people will be when hit by "real" commodity pricing in the midst of winter as wholesale prices for natural gas more than double and will go higher in subsequent years! To be honest, American foreign policy is hardly predicated on Belarus issues--and unless I miss my guess even people in State would be as hard put as Mr. Man-on-the-Street to know where Belarus is, much less recognize it or Minsk on a map!
Will Lukashenka and Belarussians swallow the bitter pill? Or will we witness another diplomatic crisis between Russia and its dependancy from the Soviet times? Lukashenka is between the hammer and anvil. Higher prices mean the bankruptcy of Belarussian economy. So far Belarussians have been provided with jobs and regular, though low, salaries. Lukashenka has always boasted that he had avoided shock therapy for the country and his peoples certainly appreciated it when they re-elected him president a few months ago. But higher cost of living will make Belarussians love their president much less. At the same time Lukashenka is one of the most loyal fan of the union of Belarus and Russia. It would be a great tragedy for the man to be forced to loosen the political or economic ties between two countries. His position is very pitiable, indeed. And Belarussians` too. Fed by Lukashenka`s propaganda, they really believed that they had escaped shock therapy. Oh, sancta naivietas!
I am ethnocentric and mighty PROUD of it ----- used to get into some good fisty fights even as a girl defending Russia ----- nothing new ......
From: Eric (ericdn)
Of course Poland's upset about it - the Polish government actually took the Russian-German pipeline as a direct personal attack against Poland. But is Poland mad at both Germany and Russia? Of course not. Poland's mad only at Russia, because Poland feels that Russia OWES Poland something.
While the EU as a whole is realizing that it's BENEFICIAL to work with Russia and regard Russia as a partner, Poland (practically all alone) desperately wants the EU to view Russia as a potentially dangerous enemy, and when the EU doesn't, Poland feels betrayed and insulted.
1/4/07 As I mentioned "The Economist" is making fun of Poland's Russophobia .......Nobody is taking them serious .... they are a pain in the b.... We knew it all along ----- their true colours show ----- all talk and no substance. Poor Poland... Poland never wins... Poland is ALWAYS the victim in EVERYTHING. You know what - I'm getting a little tired of hearing Poland whine.
11/3/06 You know the Russians can cut you off all that gaz and oil and then you'll freeze in the dark -- use that cow manure wisely ---- or is that tooo much to ask from you Poles.