Restrictions may push Lukashenka to further deepen the process of integration with the Russian Federation
The outbreak of the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border continues to grow. And while helicopters and drones are hovering over illegal immigrants trying to break into the territory of the European Union, everything is also restless in the diplomatic fields. The EU is talking not only about new sanctions against President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, but also about the possibility of punishing his allies. As the expert admitted in a conversation with us, the current activation of the West in the eastern direction is associated not only with a formal occasion at the border, but also with the intensified integration processes between Minsk and Moscow.
As the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said on November 10, Vladimir Putin had discussed with his Belarusian counterpart the problem of migrants on the border with Poland a day earlier. However, the representative of the Kremlin did not voice specific details of the conversation, limiting himself to the traditional phrase about “exchange of views.”
Nevertheless, the very fact of the conversation that took place is indicative, especially against the background of the tightening of rhetoric from the West. According to Dmitry Danilov, head of the European Security Department at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, both processes are interconnected, and Europeans and Americans are worried not only by Lukashenko's policy within his republic, but also by the intensified rapprochement between Russia and Belarus, which recently signed the long-suffering road maps within the prisoner 22 years ago. Treaty on the Union State. At the same time, according to the analyst, the threats of Western politicians have a basis: they still have something to complicate the life of the Belarusian president and his entourage, from relatives to political associates.
– Sanctions can be very different, – recalled Dmitry Danilov in a conversation with MK. – Probably, first of all, they will concern financial and economic restrictions, accounts and other property assets; possibly some kind of property abroad, affiliated with the leadership of Belarus. We can talk about expanding the circle of people who will be prohibited from visiting the territory of the European Union.
– From the point of view of a certain positive agenda, the European Union has no such options for Lukashenka. And the steps taken by the West themselves indicate that our foreign colleagues have abandoned their illusions about cooperation with Belarus, for example, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program.
– Now it is almost unrealistic. Evidently, Europe has made a deliberate choice, seeing progress in Russian-Belarusian integration. And they won't give Minsk a new chance there – you won't enter the same river twice. Moreover, the more than two dozen road maps that were recently signed between our countries imply close cooperation in the military sphere and in the field of high technologies. And this worries the EU.
– Our country is already under serious restrictions, this is not directly connected with Belarus, but as the integration processes develop, Moscow, following Minsk, may find itself limited in its rights to purchase some materials etc. The sanctions issue itself was initially politicized and ideologized. Indeed, even at the NATO level, back in the summer of 2014, in a communiqué, the member states of the North Atlantic Alliance called Russian-Belarusian military integration one of the growing threats to themselves. For the Western community, this is also a question of their common values, which, as the US and the EU believe, Moscow and Minsk do not share. As for the Union State, now Lukashenka has no choice. But this process should have been activated earlier, then it would have cost Belarus less losses than now.