RUSSIA Moscow leaves Minsk on the brink of bankruptcy

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The Kremlin-controlled fund refuses to lend to the Lukashenko regime. Belarus has maturing debts of 0.3 billion. The Belarusian dictator is stoking Russian-Ukrainian tensions to ensure Putin’s protection.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – The request of the regime of Alexander Lukashenko to the Eurasian Stability and Development Fund for a loan of 3.5 billion dollars, has been rejected because “the Fund does not have the availability of such a sum “. Belarus will have to pay $3.3 billion for its foreign debts this year and is at serious risk of default.

Belarusian economist Lev Margolin, speaking on udf.by, identified the problem not in the lack of reserve funds from Russia, the main manager of the Fund, but that “all the money invested in Belarus is thrown to the wind with the current policy of Lukashenko”. Moscow needs more convincing political arguments to justify its economic efforts.

Putin summoned Lukashenko to Moscow for the umpteenth time “to bring him to heel”, as the Russian expression goes, to force him to keep the promises he had made in September 2020 to submit the new Constitution to a referendum and then to organize new presidential elections. , in which it should clear. The Belarusian “batka” (godfather), as usual, plays with the circumstances, and the presence of Russian troops in Belarus for the conflict with Ukraine becomes for him a new “life insurance”: as long as there is has a war, it is not the case to arouse new emotions at the national level.

The Russians, however, will not be satisfied with the usual “vassal exits”, as Margolin put it, and will demand that Belarus start solving its own problems. Current debts can be covered by gold reserves and exports before they are completely blocked by Western sanctions. After scratching the bottom of the barrel, however, only the abyss of bankruptcy remains, and then the Kremlin will have to make final decisions.

This is one of the reasons why Lukashenko is trying to further inspire Russia’s anti-Ukrainian offensive, which in itself does not directly benefit Belarus. In Moscow, he raised the issue of “joint exercises”, saying that Russia should also have atomic and “superatomic” weapons on Belarusian territory. The Russians are struggling to contain and deny the declarations of the cumbersome ally, who sets himself up as captain of the common army by declaring that “as we decide, so it will be done”.

In Lukashenko’s words, the Russian military becomes “our armed forces, which are on our land, where we work, study and will continue to work…if our adversaries do something stupid, we will throw nuclear weapons at them” . Hence the political consequence: “If the collective West, above all the United States, continues to target Belarus and stir up trouble as it did in 2020, then I will have to stay in my place”, without due date.

For the Belarusian president, the war in Ukraine is only one episode in the Western campaign against Russian institutions and traditions, and against his own regime. According to him, the popular protests against his re-election were part of the same plot. Putin allowed Lukashenko to attend nuclear weapons exercises on the condition that he stop making empty statements for his own internal benefit.

French President Macron, at the famous meeting at the six-meter table, expressed his concern over Loukašenko’s threats on nuclear weapons, and according to him, “Putin reassured me about this”. However, anything can be expected from the old Belarusian autocrat, especially when Moscow tries to keep him calm and solve Belarusian problems for him: the batka could become the dreaded “accident” that triggers a conflict on both sides. He would then no longer have to worry about paying his debts.

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