The trouble has come unexpectedly. A 23- story apartment building collapsed in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, on May 13. Hundreds of people died. Pyongyang residents were so much shocked that the authorities have recognized all the possible violations of construction rules and asked a pardon from the citizens.
By the way, this is not the first accident at North Korean construction sites, where the builders are working for nominal wages and demonstrate the wonders of productivity. It is worth recalling that the Palace of Independence in the Minsk centre was also built by these hard workers.
But the last week was marked not only by the tragedy in Pyongyang, but also referendums in the East of Ukraine and the proclamation of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. It is worth noting that the official Minsk has made attempts to be political Janus and told both Moscow and Kiev what they currently wanted to hear. At the same time, Alexander Lukashenko, by the Belarusian tradition, did not forget to praise himself: «It is not surprising, because I have made numerous statements about Ukraine, our involvement in the processes that are going on. Maybe, there is nothing that Ukraine, its people and authorities can blame me for. We tried to stick to a careful, balanced position…» (15 May 2014, Alexander Lukashenko at the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Belarus).
However, by a strange tradition the Belarusian leadership began to lose the sense of reality once again. Minsk ignores objective processes which do not fit in the views of the Belarusian president and his closest associates about the world or are contrary to the fundamental political goals and objectives. Obstinate adherence to their own stereotypes, fear of losing the power and desire to get profit on neighbor’s problems leads to a political deadlock. And this has happened several times. Unfortunately, not only the president suffers this «disease» in the Belarusian political arena.
Meanwhile, the flaming civil war in Ukraine has passed the point of no return. Of course, one may ignore and not recognize the referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on May 11, but only up to a point. The republics are twice as much as the unrecognized for more than twenty years the states Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh, not to mention the partially recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The fact is that the population of forming Novorossia is about 7 million people and 25% of export potential of Ukraine. Many European states, which exist more than several centuries, are much smaller countries.
It is worth noting that the virtual "big" Novorossia, consisting of 8 south and east regions of Ukraine, would include about 20 million people and nearly all Ukrainian industrial potential, including half of its transit capabilities. It is clear that if it occurs, such State formation would be recognized by Kiev almost instantly...
Of course, the appearance of such a large state remains highly questionable, although it is impossible to deny that Ukrainian decay follows the Yugoslav scenario. In any case, the situation both in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe has changed irrevocably. However, Minsk’s attitude towards the Ukrainian crisis is if Kiev still controls the whole territory of Ukraine...
Ukrainian presidential campaign looks like feast during the plague against the background of military clashes in the East of Ukraine and death of dozens of people. It is clear that the vote in Donetsk and Lugansk is impossible in principle, as it is difficult to imagine that people will vote for the president of the country, which attacks their homes. With the same success you could hold elections of chief of concentration camp, driving all prisoners to the parade ground for voting.
Especially since the Belarusian 'accent' still exists in the context of expiring Ukrainian election campaign, which may end with quite extraordinary surprises (do not forget that hopelessly losing the elections Yulia Tymoshenko has the capabilities and capacities to turn the "business" in her favor at the last moment).
On the one hand, the position of the Belarusian leadership became clear after the meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine Mikhail Yezhel (May 15, 2014). Official Minsk had already recognized the procedure of the Ukrainian presidential election fair and transparent. And according to the latest amendments to the Ukrainian electoral law there is no need even to consider the turnout. Representatives of the Belarusian Central Election Commission are preparing to monitor the Ukrainian elections. This is an indirect evidence of such recognition.
It should be recalled that none of the representatives of Belarus, including the Central Election Commission, attended the March referendum in the Crimea. None of the Belarusian observer was registered in Simferopol.
However, it would be unfair to keep silent about the fact that the appearance of the Belarusian observers in the Ukrainian elections makes sense.
Keep in mind that until today the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian CEC are the world leaders for the organization of elections, the results of which can not completely reflect the real electoral preferences of voters in Belarus. During four presidential terms of Alexander Lukashenko the Belarusian CEC became so skilled in organizing such a vote, that it can be held without any voters.
Of course, such a rich experience of "guessing" the voters’ mood could be in high demand in today's Ukraine. In principle, based on modern Ukrainian electoral legislation, the Kiev authorities may refuse from elections, and immediately inform "voters" that the president of Ukraine is already selected. But here may be some problems with the name of the fifth President of Ukraine.
It is possible that Yulia Tymoshenko will suddenly remember about "deceived" citizens of Ukraine and organize next Maidan of "deceived voters" in the centre of Kiev. And the political process will go to the next round. However, it’s not a secret that Alexander Lukashenko is ready to congratulate Petr Poroshenko with his "victory" even today.
No doubt, Belarusian president will not carry about the conditions under which such electoral "victory" will be achieved. He perfectly knows how to get a "will of the people". But there are two forks. One of which has an internal character and the other external.
The first fork is connected with the response of the Belarusian opposition to the Ukrainian election. Here a problem arises. On the one hand the political opponents of the Belarusian president say that Belarusian electoral legislation is unfair, electoral commissions are rigging the voting results, and the Belarusian CEC manipulates with the numbers. However, the Belarusian elections in comparison with Ukrainian have two certainties advantages: there is still a voter turnout and no bombardment.
However, if there is no doubt that Alexander Lukashenko is ready to talk with the future Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko and actually recognizes him as the head of the Ukrainian state, then there are no questions with the Belarusian opposition, which recognizes the Ukrainian election as quite fair and transparent, despite the fact that the elections are taking place under the conditions of civil war.
Unity of Alexander Lukashenko and his "opposition" on the Ukrainian problem is simply amazing and makes a conspicuous figure. There is no need to look for the reason of unity of former political opponents as it is clear - the total rejection of Russian policy in relation to modern Ukraine.
This explains the desire of the Belarusian opposition to participate in 2015 presidential elections, in other words legitimize a fifth term of Alexander Lukashenko.
By the way, complete failure of the boycott of the World Hockey Championship is in the same political "corridor". This task did not require any extraordinary efforts, but the opposition failed to do even that. But opponents of the Belarusian president do not like Russian flags in the hands of Russian fans, and at the same time, the Belarusian national flag was not noticed near the ice arenas or at any game.
So, what's it all about?
What’s the reason of such a tender love? Scheme of the alliance between the authorities and the opposition is very simple and clear, as it is connected with solving of important problem – keeping the power in the hands of the ruling "family." In this case, the passivity of the Belarusian opposition to the fact of the Ice Hockey World Championships means that that European sponsors have closed this issue. Alexander Lukashenko was very useful for the West against the background of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
In turn, the Belarusian president today has the opportunity to play two hands. On the one hand, he still hopes to enter the European establishment with the help of international sporting event. On the other hand, Alexander Lukashenko is ready to lick Kiev’s feet, begging for "the path to the West." Hence the pleas addressed to Ukrainian ambassador: “We have never imagined that Ukraine might take a hostile position towards Belarus”.
What does Alexander Lukashenko count on?
Belarusian president apparently believes he is the most cunning person in the world. He expects he will continue to balance between Minsk and Kiev, telling Moscow empty phrases about his deep concern at unfolding crisis ("I would like, as one would say, behind the scenes, to openly talk about the situation in Ukraine andsomehow coordinate our actions. Because this crisis will probably not end tomorrow and it has adirect influence on you and on us” Moscow, 08.05.14). And a week later he told the Ambassador of Ukraine: “It’s a self-sufficient country. If we help it, instead of meddling, this will be a very influential country. Maybe, somebody does not want the country to be strong and influential. However, this is not my position or the position of the Belarusian people”. But a question arises: What kind of Ukraine does Alexander Lukashenko mean? Who is close to him? Turchynov, Yarosh, "Right sector", Odessa arsonists?
It is doubtful that Alexander Lukashenko does not understand what is he doing and with whom is dealing.
No doubt, Alexander Lukashenko will congratulate the new president of Ukraine on May 26. It's most likely that Moscow will not be quick in this issue, and this will once again demonstrate the «unity» of partners in the Union State. It is worth recalling that the same fork already happened in Russian-Belarusian relations in 2008-2009. But there was a question about Georgia ... Today the question is about Ukraine.
It is doubtful that Alexander Lukashenko does not understand that a united and unitary Ukraine will probably disappear. You can talk about the integrity of Ukraine, (as Alexander Lukashenko did on May 15) but the integral Ukraine will no longer exist. There are no other forks and variants. The acting Ukrainian authorities have taken a truly heroic effort to split, or rather, collapse their own country.
It is doubtful that Alexander Lukashenko does not understand that the rebellion in the east of Ukraine may be suppressed only with the help of a full-fledged genocide of 7,000,000 populations of the two regions. They will never refuse from their referendum. From the first side it's not so difficult, but there are some problems. You still have to find someone who will go with fire and sword to the towns and villages of the Donbass. And there are great problems - Ukrainian army is fighting against its own people unwillingly. And by the way, they are not real professionals…
There is and a second problem for Kiev – Donetsk, Lugansk are able to defend itself. In any case, they are still doing this well. Negotiations are impossible in such conditions in principle. It's difficult to describe the hatred of the population of South-East to the West of Ukraine and Kiev. In due time, only Nazi occupiers were hated so much.
And the most important thing. It is doubtful that Alexander Lukashenko does not understand that Ukraine is not able to hold an independent foreign and domestic policy, the country is a bankrupt and under the protection of U.S. and Europe. So, when the Belarusian president fawned before Kiev ambassador on May 15, he actually made overtures to Washington. And the Belarusian opposition was delighted…
А. Suzdaltsev, Moscow, 18.05.14