Helicopters in the head

The political situation in Ukraine continues to have a direct impact on its neighbors. Ukrainian theme remains the main in Russian media space. It’s not a secret that on the background of almost monolithic support of Kremlin's policy in relation to the Crimea by Russian population, we see a split in Russian political class and civil society. Considerable part of the Russian creative intelligentsia, including entertainers, supported Kiev.

Of course, mutual relations between Russia and Ukraineare are not limited by VerkaSerdyuchka and Natalia Koroleva.Gas transit to European markets and the prospects for Ukrainian military-industrial complex regarding the participation in the modernization of Russian army are in the list of top five problems in the relations between Moscow and Kiev.But a problem of future recognition of the Ukrainian presidential election remains in the first place.

Ukrainian election

At the meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris on March 30 it became known that the issue of recognition of the Ukrainian presidential election is the subject of political bargaining for Moscow. It is unlikely that this fact was left out of view of Washington. In this case, in principle, the issue of the future outcome of voting in Ukraine should take second place, but let’s have a look at the scandalous list of presidential candidates in Kiev.

Leaders of the Ukrainian presidential election are a serious problem for the Kremlin. It’s not a secret that such well-known personalities like Petr Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko generate a question and in the European Union too. Their coming to power guarantees the continuation and even expansion of the conflict with Russia, as well as prolongation of internal instability in Ukraine itself.

Candidacy of Poroshenko, as one of the main organizers of Maidan, is unacceptable for Russia. Yulia Tymoshenko is also not a popular person in the Kremlin as she is actually merged with the nationalists. It is impossible, but mobilizing for modern Ukrainian society thesis - an indispensable return of the Crimea, is the basis of the election platforms of both Poroshenko and Tymoshenko.

Judging by the reaction of the Kremlin today, Russia sees no prospects for the work with well known Ukrainian politicians, who are rushing to the office of the President of Ukraine. Hence the very real prospect of non-recognition of the outcomes of May presidential election in Ukraine. In any case, we can say that it will be an extremely complex negotiation process between Moscow and Washington, and Kiev is not involved in it.

Despite all the efforts of the official Minsk, Belarusian vector in Ukrainian election topic is absent. And this is understandable. The future of Ukrainian problem, including recognition of the new authorities in Kiev and the presidential election will be decided or “frozen” in the dialogue between Moscow, Brussels and Washington. Participation of Kiev in this still very sluggish exchange of views is not possible now due to the fact that the Ukrainian authorities continue to live in an atmosphere of war psychosis.

«War»

All Ukrainian news programs tell about Russian “agression”: mobilization of reservists, fundraising, military exercises, discussion of various types of militaty development and the military, diplomatic assistance that Kiev will receive from Western countries and the United States. The last point is especially important as I have repeatedly noted that to date Ukraine has not received a single dollar or euro from the West.

Gas dispute between the two countries became the hit of the last week. 485 dollars per thousand cubic meters was a sacred price as Ukraine would have to pay this price if it was a member of the EU. Gazprom is nullifying all previously granted to Kiev discounts and preferences, in other words, symbolically gives Ukraine a status of the European power.

It is clear that official Kiev is interested in maintaining and even expanding of Russian - Ukrainian crisis and the formation of a new image of Ukraine as a victim of Russian aggression. This will allow the Ukrainian leadership to rely on a broad and multi-disciplinary support from the EU, US, NATO and some Western countries.

In theory, the status of Kiev as the official target of “Russian imperialism” should facilitate the process of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations. As a result, the Crimea should be returned to Ukraine with all sad and negative consequences for the future of Russia as an independent and self-sufficient state.

This point is very interesting, as Kiev authorities and Maidan did almost everything to provoke Russia and enter Russian- Ukrainian conflict. Surprisingly, but the new Ukrainian authorities acted like Saakashvil. In due time he organized the invasion of South Ossetia and killing of Russian peacekeepers. He was confident that Russia would not reply and left Ossetians. However, it was not so ...

For some reason Ukrainian authorities were convinced that in the case of deployment of the crisis Russia would recognize the new government of Ukraine, allocated loans, cheap energy and opened its market for Ukrainian producers. It was believed that Moscow would not dare to go against the West, which took Ukraine under its almost unlimited control. The variant that Russia itself would begin to take control over the regions of Ukraine with the overwhelming volume of the Russian population was not even considered.

As a result, we saw a very funny situation. Political leaders, who recently went to the Maidan scene and threatened to Moscow, cursed and taunted Russia, Russian people and authorities, etc., began to aks hysterically the West to protect them from “Russian bear”. It is worth recalling that most of these professional provocateurs are registered now as candidates for the presidency of the republic.

No doubt that the campaign to deliberately force Moscow to accept the outcome of future Ukrainian elections will start very soon. Apparently, in this case the Ukrainian authorities will try to rely on the support of Minsk as a partner of Moscow in the Union State.

Minsk

It should be noted that the Belarusian authorities are very cautious about the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections. But their true position is already visible through indirect indicators and careless statements of members of senior republican establishment. In particular, the Central Election Commission of Belarus is still discussing participation of its members as observers in the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election.

It is worth recalling that the observers from Belarus did not visit the referendum in the Crimea. Up to date there is no official and unequivocal recognition of the Crimean referendum by the Belarusian leadership.

At the same time, the Belarusian leadership tries to get the maximum economic benefit from serious Russian-Ukrainian crisis, in other words, acts in a traditional limitrophe style. Alexander Lukashenko forgot about the issues of resale of Ukrainian electricity in the Baltic States and the prospects of Russian energy, Belarusian oil products supplies to the Ukrainian market. He is interested in Ukrainian military-industrial complex.

The fact is that up to the present day the Russian defense industry is interested not only in maintaining, but expanding cooperation with Ukrainian partners. In particular, the production of a series of military products, including certain types of rocket technology, helicopter engines, etc. Ukraine is close to a monopoly in these areas.

It is clear that there was no sense to talk about military-technical cooperation with the Ukrainian defense industry after February 22, 2014. In case of association with the EU, Ukrainian military - industrial complex will face collapse. Here is another “window of opportunities” for Alexander Lukashenko.

At first sight the scheme is simple and mutually beneficial. Belarusian maximum program is to attract the Ukrainian military technologies on the Belarusian territory and eventually replace Ukraine as a supplier to the Russian defense industry.

There is and more “light” variant - to mediate between the Ukrainian and Russian defense industry and turn Belarus into a kind of “assembly area” of military equipment. Formally, all three parties will get a benefit: Ukraine will not lose its military-industrial complex and receive currency, Belarus will create its own military-industrial complex with the help of Ukrainian technologies and Russian money, Russia will not lose its partners.

Alexander Lukashenko was very fascinated by new opportunities and announced the necessity of organizing production of planes and helicopters in Belarus during his visit at Baranovichi aircraft repair plant on April 2: “What does it mean to produce a helicopter in Orsha? It is not a problem if we have Motor Sich there and engines. We have the engines, so we only need to buy additionally a couple of sophisticated devices that we probably do not need to produce locally. Other things needed to make a frame are already there”. (http://www.belta.by/ru/all_news/president/Lukashenko-postavil-zadachu-po-organizatsii-proizvodstva-v-Belarusi-samoletov-i-vertoletov_i_664737.html).

In this “helicopter” story is important not just another "technological" fantasy of Alexander Lukashenko, but his attempts to get benefit on the neighbors conflict. And, as it turned out two days later, on April 4, the Belarusian president does not see anything wrong in his actions: It has been said that Lukashenko allegedly tries to exploit the problems Russia is facing. Only an idiot would pass up on any opportunities that open up”. («http://president.gov.by/ru/news_ru/view/aleksandr-lukashenko-vstretitsja...). This statement coincided with the decision of the Ukrainian government to stop the military-technical cooperation with Russia (4 April 2014).

Later on the same day, on April 4, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, as if it was directed by the EU and the US, made another statement that Belarus was ready to create the conditions for the meeting between Deputy Ministers of foreign affairs of Ukraine and Russia in Minsk: “If they choose Minsk as the venue for their meeting, the Belarusian side will do everything necessary to provide favorable conditions for the relevant talk”. (http://www.sb.by/post/161800/). At the same time Moscow, of course, did not ask Minsk about it.

Everything was clear when the Belarusian state TV (04.05.14) used provocation information s regarding the referendum on the separation of some districts of the Smolensk region from Russia and the accession of these territories to Belarus. It is clear that the referendum, announced on online public petitions website www.avaaz.org by some anonymous, was opposed to the Crimean referendum. In other words, there is no sense to talk about any support of Belarus for Russia.

By the way, it was discovered quickly that the referendum was declared from the computer in Minsk. However, in this situation it is not the main problem.

Surprisingly, but Belarusian state TV told about this provocation with great relish, the next day after Alexander Lukashenko’s meeting with the governor of the Kaluga region of the Russian Federation Anatoly Artamonov. It is worth recalling that at this meeting Belarusian President said he coordinated literally all his steps with Moscow. Maybe the Kremlin supported the hints on territorial disintegration of Russia? ” Whatever I may be doing now as I talk to Ukraine, the West, the East and so on, I don’t make a single step without consulting with the Russian Federation leadership if Russian interests are at stake”. http://www.belta.by/ru/all_news/president/Lukashenko-priznaetsja-chto-ni...)

Of course, so stormy emotional statements are  not a reaction to the “speculations” ("Therefore, all kinds of speculations and wild guesses must be ruled out” " Alexander Lukashenko ) about the true reasons for such hypocrisy and double-dealing policy of official Minsk towards the Russian- Ukrainian crisis, but in fact unmask all problems and conflicts of contemporary Russian- Belarusian relations.

Alexander Lukashenko has too many virtual helicopters in his head.

А. Suzdaltsev, Zurich, 06.04.14

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