Experts explained the new strategy of the President of Belarus
Recently, Lukashenko arranged a meeting with the top of the Belarusian authorities, which took place at the Palace of Independence in Minsk. The meeting was attended by the prime minister, heads of both chambers of parliament, the Supreme Court, heads of law enforcement agencies, governors and so on. There was no official information about the results of the meeting – but it was leaked to the media from sources in the presidential administration. And judging by these data, not only the opposition, but also Russia should not expect anything good from Lukashenka’s plans.
First, according to Belarusian sources, the protesters will be deprived of social benefits, dismissed, and the criminal prosecution against them will be toughened up to the death penalty. The stake will be placed on targeted attacks by the KGB. According to Lukashenka, no one should escape punishment for protesting against the regime.
Second, it is expected that the European Union will lose interest in the protests in Belarus by the spring, and then Minsk will be able to begin to establish a dialogue with the West. In this context, trading with Russia on energy prices will resume. If an agreement fails, Moscow may forget about deeper integration into the Union State.
Thirdly, Lukashenka is not going to rush into the new Constitution. He is ready to vote for her only in 2021. At the same time, one should not harbor any illusions regarding the updated Basic Law. Because Lukashenko believes that he will not become a compromise and will not lead to a resolution of the conflict.
In short, Lukashenka’s communication with his inner circle can be reduced to assurances that the clouds will soon disperse and the ruling elite will heal as before. The West will lose interest in the protests, the opposition will flee, and Lukashenka and his friends will be able to continue to rule the country as they have been for the past 26 years. In the end, he simply cannot offer anything else to his electorate. And if he could, then perhaps the protests could have been avoided.
Nevertheless, experts interviewed by MK believe that it was not by chance that Lukashenko gathered his retinue on the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
Dmitry Bolkunets, Belarusian political scientist: “On the eve of the expiration of the ultimatum of Tikhanov’s passions are heating up. Lukashenka decided to assemble the government to prove that the situation is under control and there is nothing to worry about. August 9.
The fact that the situation is difficult, in particular, is evidenced by the fact that after the visit of the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin to Belarus, Lukashenko canceled a rally in Minsk, which had been scheduled for the weekend. About 300 thousand people from all over the country were supposed to come there. It was expected to be a counterweight to opposition protests. Apparently, Naryshkin recommended not to exacerbate the situation once again, so as not to lead to a civil war, but to start a dialogue. In addition, Lukashenka could have been informed that the regime already lacks the strength for a 300,000 rally.
Lukashenka, most likely, really hopes that the protest will dissipate by itself, and then everything will return to normal. He will negotiate with the West, trade with Russia, and so on. However, he is mistaken. The West is not interested in Lukashenko staying in power. This makes it impossible for him to maneuver in negotiations with Russia. “
Andrey Suzdaltsev, political scientist: “Lukashenka is lying to Russia when he says that he broke all contracts with the West. In reality, there is nothing of the kind. There was no promised closure of the borders with Lithuania and Poland. Previous supplies are in progress, including contraband. diplomatic contacts are maintained with the United States and the European Union. Lukashenko was promised to be included in the sanctions lists, but this did not happen. This is due to the fact that the West needs Lukashenko. He does an excellent job of discrediting integration in the post-Soviet space. And Russia pays for his work.
At the same time, Lukashenka blames the West for the political crisis, because he himself is not going to go anywhere. All the participants in his dialogue on the new Constitution are oppositionists imprisoned in jail and people who helped him steal votes in the presidential elections. Naturally, this does not lead to any settlement of the conflict. On the contrary, this is the path to its escalation. But if he manages to survive, he will continue to pump money from Russia, motivating his demands by the fact that he protected Moscow from the “color revolution”.