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Your move, grandmaster Lukashenko!
Material posted: Publication date: 13-01-2015

In the coming year, Washington and Brussels plan to seriously "deal" with Belarus in the framework of the scenario "Yesterday - Kiev, tomorrow - Minsk, the day after tomorrow - Moscow". Will they be able to Minsk to defend its sovereignty, the future of regional and some aspects of continental and global balance of power in the world.

Since the collapse of the USSR for many strategists and diplomats in the West, Minsk was forgotten, and, sometimes, and generally "undiscovered" provincial capital of a strange country. The coming year promises big changes: Belarus is in the limelight of international politics. And there is no certainty that this is good news.

The coincidence of events makes Belarus in 2015 is not only the geographical centre of Europe, but also the epicenter of political processes. Suddenly Alexander Lukashenko, it's his decisions in the next 12 months will determine the future of regional and some aspects of continental and global balance of power in the world.

The geopolitical attractiveness of the country contribute to all the factors. At the state level, regional, continental and global policy events occur that make this country an active figure on the Eurasian chessboard. And the result of the game depends on the cleverness of their own moves and activity from other shapes. A. Lukashenka can checkmate many of his opponents, but not eliminated, and the likelihood that he will be defeated.

At the national level, the coming year promises to be particularly hot: the country held presidential elections. On the one hand, the incumbent President gets the opportunity to reaffirm its legitimacy and to obtain approval of its domestic and foreign policy. On the other – it's a chance for the opposition to deny the President's legitimacy and to disavow the course of A. Lukashenko. After the coup in Kiev, Minsk is obviously first in line in the American strategy of regime change. Hence, the developments in the country will be under the gun "advocates of democracy" from the Central intelligence Agency. No doubt, the efficiency of Ukrainian operations inspired "democratizers" of Langley, today they hope to implement the scenario "Yesterday — Kiev, tomorrow — Minsk, the day after tomorrow — Moscow". Therefore, the Belarusian "front" will be thrown a maximum of financial, organizational and human resources. The country will face internal turmoil, and forces one Alexander may not be enough in order to resist them.

At the regional level, the geopolitical value of the country increases as the severity of the situation at the neighbors of Belarus, as well as the growing tension between them. Amid the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Kiev, Russia and the "United Europe", Minsk becomes a potential – and, as shows experiment of last year, largely functioning as a mediator to close to each other geographically and economically, but politically distant States. Regardless of the will of those or other governors, mechanical "cut off" the inhabitants of these countries from each other is simply impossible: it's too painful and too expensive will have to pay for the gap existing between the close economic and humanitarian ties. And, in the absence of normal relations between governments — for example, in the crossing of borders or trade — that Alexander Lukashenko can provide them a chance to avoid disaster.

At the European level, Belarus is becoming a key element of the emerging equilibrium between the two alternative integration associations – the European Union and the Eurasian Union. Despite the successful overcoming of barriers that geography continues to play a crucial role among the factors influencing public policy. Planning actions that should be taken into account that Minsk is located halfway between Moscow and Berlin – two actual places making real decisions about the future of Europe.

Finally – which is unusual for the country, always emphasizing the absence of a global claims and local identity because of these factors, Belarus becomes a player and world level. The development of the situation in the country, as well as its foreign policy partly depends on the global balance of power: if, after the Kiev "American democracy" will win and also Minsk, claims Washington's global hegemony will receive "acknowledgement practice." Belarus will defend its sovereignty – and there can be a wide opposition to attempts to transform the post-Soviet space in the American bridgehead against Russia, to be an important factor in the strengthening of multipolarity.

So the year Alexander Lukashenko will be difficult. But the President of Belarus has repeatedly demonstrated: the country and he has no enemies, no friends, only interests. So is it possible that, when faced with a crisis situation, in contrast to Viktor Yanukovych, he will be able to surprise the world with the skill of playing "political chess".

And to beat those who would like to see the "Maidan" in the center of Minsk, and he himself is in exile.

Jakub Karaba (Poland), Center for international journalism and research


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