Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Belarus: “Last Dictator Of Europe” Does Not Have Moscow Support

Posted by Info on 05/11/2010

On October 13 Presidential Chief delivered a clear message from Kremlin – that Russia might not recognize the results of the Belarusian presidential elections next month if they are not held in full compliance with Belarusian laws and international criteria for free and fair elections.
Moscow has a problem only with Lukashenko personally, and were that problem to be somehow removed (were Lukashenko to retire from the scene or suddenly come to his senses), wants to return to normal relations with Belarus.

Lukashenko, who is running for his fourth five-year term, responded to the Russian threats of not recognizing the legitimacy of his likely reelection by threatening to pull Belarus out of all integration projects with Russia and the CIS bodies. He also made the bad move of holding a meeting with Russian regional media on October 1, where he permitted himself some very humiliating and disparaging comments about president Medvedev personally and about his recent firing of ex-Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, crossing the line by meddling in Russia’s internal affairs.

The quarrel between the Kremlin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been going on since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s first presidential term, when the latter bluntly told Lukashenko to give up his country’s sovereignty and join Russia.
The quarrel reached a head during the energy conflict at the beginning of 2007, when Moscow raised the gas prices for Belarus and introduced import tariffs for Russian oil.
The current militant rhetoric is a culmination of the worsening relations between both countries. Dmitry Medvedev used the same methods to attack former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for the latter’s anti-Russian stance in the summer of 2009.


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