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Turkic Virage Lukashenko
Material posted: Publication date: 15-04-2016
During the years of his presidency the head of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has accustomed its own public and the international community to his unusual behavior. However, external emotional Belarusian leader is almost always possible to see a pragmatic approach to the protection and development of the existing in the Belarusian socio-economic model, which largely depends on the political component of the country.

Strange craving for Turkic dictators

During the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine vividly demonstrated the talent of the Belarusian President to skillfully balance between different influential centers of power, strengthening the authority of the country and your personal. The result has been a withdrawal from the country Western sanctions and a gradual departure from the image of “the last dictator of Europe”.

Against the background of these processes is quite strange craving Lukashenko to convergence with other dictators, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And if Aliyev Junior, having received the power by inheritance from Aliyev-senior, for many years, working tirelessly to strengthen its reputation of a dictator, Erdogan has the talent “cut out” in recent years”.

After certain steps in the democratization of Turkey, the Turkish leader suddenly changed his priorities and has committed itself to strengthening personal power, in particular, by changing the Constitution, harassment of independent media.

While Aliyev and erdoğan skillfully used the readiness of the West for the sake of Realpolitik to forget about their declared principles and values, about human rights, about the fight against the corrupt government, languishing in the dungeons of the journalists and human rights defenders. And if in the case of Azerbaijan a stake in the energy resources of the country, in the case of Turkey - migration crisis.

Common values and new allies

In the context of the fact that Belarus cannot be ranked among countries with a population professing Islam, the astonishing visit of head of state in Istanbul to attend the summit of the Organization of Islamic cooperation (OIC). It would be interesting to find out what unites the Minsk and the OIC, which includes many countries, to say the least, authoritarian model of management. As it turns out, according to the state news Agency BelTA: “a lot of common approaches and priorities in the international arena, primarily in the areas of family values, religious tolerance, sustainable development, human rights”.

We can only guess how “match” on these issues, the approaches of Belarus and one of the world leaders on “religious tolerance and the protection of human rights” in Saudi Arabia. However, it is of interest not so much the trip itself as the demonstration of the close friendship of Lukashenka with Erdogan. Belarusian President invited his Turkish counterpart to strengthen cooperation, to actualize the agenda, by reboot on a number of specific areas with emphasis on trade and the economy.

Loving words to declare its commitment to the Alliance with Russia, the Belarusian leader once again demonstrated that, in practice, his case is largely at variance with the words. After all, his actions look quite strange against the background of a sharp aggravation of relations between Moscow and Ankara.

Although I must admit that all the recent actions of the Belarusian authorities suggests that this visit and the statements of Lukashenka's non-random. This denial together with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from criticism of the Turkish authorities, brought down the Russian plane, locking in the framework of the CSTO any hard anti-Turkish statements. Moreover, the presidents of these countries opposed the appointment of a representative of Armenia for the post of Secretary General of the CSTO, despite the existing agreement, arguing that it would look as “blatantly hostile attack against Turkey.”

To understand and forgive

Minsk and earlier did not differ special commitment to fulfil their allied obligations. However, earlier they were mainly connected with Armenia. The Belarusian leader is not very and hid that he was more important relations with Azerbaijan than with an ally in the CSTO - Armenia.

The clearest evidence of this was that on the first day of the April “four-day” war, instead of asking about the situation in the conflict zone from the President of the Union of Armenia, Lukashenko decided to call the President of Azerbaijan.

And that followed directly after this statement by the foreign Ministry of Belarus stating that Belarus stands for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with universally recognized principles and norms of international law, primarily on the basis of respecting and ensuring the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of state borders, as well as the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and OSCE decisions (however, later the Belarusian foreign Ministry issued a more measured statement). With regard to the position of Minsk on the Ukrainian conflict, given the neighboring Ukraine and close economic ties with this country, they can understand.

But such an active demonstration of friendship with Turkey, not wishing to repent for his “stab in the back” of Russia, gives rise to many questions about the reliability of Lukashenka as Russian ally. It's one thing close contacts with Erdogan the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has never hidden his commitment to the ideas of Turkic solidarity, and another thing - the statements and actions of the authorities of Belarus that are in a single “Union state” with Russia.

Especially after a couple of weeks after Moscow has allocated to Minsk 2 billion dollars to rescue the Belarusian economy.

All these actions of the Belarusian authorities suggests that Lukashenko is sure that Russia will put up with any of his step. And given the rather strange attitude of Russia to its allies, such a position and unwillingness to consider Russian interests have the right to life.

Indeed, as shown by the April events in Karabakh and the response of the Russian side, Moscow is not ready to reckon with the vital interests of allies and in this case, as in the case with Minsk and Astana, to tolerate any anti-Russian steps other allies.

Hayk Khalatyan



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