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"Why Belarus Can't Afford to Be the New Ukraine" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2017 9:45 p.m. PST

"On February 3 Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko launched the fiercest of his rhetorical attacks against Russia—a country that has been financially underpinning Lukashenko's regime. Despite the audacious comments of the Belarusian leader, there is little chance that his words will convince Moscow to continue providing support to his country with few strings attached. The status quo will likely be extended, which means there will constantly be a diminishing value for Russia. Thus, Lukashenko's options are few. Either he fully participates in Russia's integration initiatives, or he sees his power collapsing. At this point, Moscow does not even have to make dramatic moves to rein in Lukashenko, since time is working against the Belarusian president.

Lukashenko spent several hours at his press conference listing the grievances committed by Russia. Minsk made several (mostly symbolic) moves aimed at escalating a showdown with Moscow, which included the extradition of travel blogger Alexander Lapshin, a Russian-Israeli dual citizen, to Azerbaijan. (Baku is persecuting Lapshin for visits to Nagorno-Karabakh.) Lukashenko recently skipped several summits held by various Moscow-oriented organizations about the post-Soviet space and the neverending "soap opera" surrounding the Russian military base in Belarus. Minsk and Russia were supposed to establish a Single Air Defence System, per a controversial treaty signed years ago. The establishment of that system has been delayed, and now observers have begun discussing the possibility that a full-blown crisis could explode between Moscow and Minsk. How will that crisis unfold?…"
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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member24 Feb 2017 5:07 p.m. PST

Huh. I always thought that Belarus and Russia were very tight, and a prospect to reunite, more so than for any of the other former USSR states. Quelle surprise!

Vostok1725 Feb 2017 4:23 a.m. PST

Yes, actually this verbal swordplay for a long time coming, somewhere in 2009-2010. From time to time, in Russia producing revelatory films about Lukashenko, and Lukashenko pushes revelatory speech about Russia. However, the discount on gas for Belarus is saved anyway.

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