Staunton, September 26 – Moscow’s demand that Minsk agree to the opening of a Russian base in Belarus in order to continue receiving economic assistance (openmedia.io/kakix-ustupok-putin-trebuet-ot-lukashenko/) is an indication that Russian officials are now actively planning for the Anschluss of Belarus, Vikor Larionov says.
But it is far from the only sign of that, the Russian commentator adds. In an article for Rusmonitor entitled “Russia and Belarus: Yet Another Step Closer to Anschluss,” Larionov points to the “bold” statements Mikhail Babich, the new Russian ambassador in Minsk, made immediately after presenting his credentials to Alyaksandr Lukashenka (rusmonitor.com/rossiya-i-belarus-eshhe-na-shag-blizhe-k-anshlyusu.html).
To a casual observer, they may have appeared entirely quite normal, the commentator continues. But “for those who follow the situation more closely, they point to only one thing: Belarus has become one step closer to an Anschluss and the Russian authorities are seriously preparing for that” and for this to occur “before 2020.”
As he and the Nezygar Telegram channel have said before, the Kremlin views this as “the optimum resolution” of a Kremlin problem: by creating a new union of Russia and Belarus, Moscow would create the need for a new presidency, something Vladimir Putin could occupy without violating the terms of the existing Russian constitution that would be superceded.
“Everything is simple,” Larionov says. “The union of rwo independent states into one centered on Moscow would not only require a change of constitutions: formally, this would be a completely new state in which the current ban on the occupation of the presidency for more than two terms in a row would no longer apply to Putin.”
And as a result, “this ‘ingatherer of Russian lands” could occupy the post of the head of such a ‘new’ state for another 12 years in a row.”
Other expert Telegram channels which exist primarily to disseminate Kremlin views, Larionov says, are suggesting the same thing. And “therefore, there can be no doubts that quite soon, this idea will rise from the telegram ‘underground’ into the mainstream media” where far more people will recognize where things are headed.
The events this week, Larionov suggests, all came from the September 23 meeting between Putin and Lukashenka in Sochi where the former made to the latter, “a proposal he couldn’t refuse,” one that in the short term means Minsk must do what Moscow wants and in the longer term, “agree to being swallowed up by Russia.”
“In exchange,” the Russian commentator says, “Putin promised to continue financial support” to Belarus.
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