Staunton, March 17 – Moscow’s arrogance and mishandling of Belarus is so alienating its last ally that it is now possible to predict, Russian commentator Pavel Pryanikov says, that Belarus will be the first CIS country to join both the European Union and NATO, getting in long before Ukraine and possibly Georgia, both of which have left that Moscow-dominated group.
The reasons for thinking so, the editor of the Tolkovatel portal says, is that Belarusians do not have many of the problems Ukraine does. It doesn’t have the regional variations of its southern neighbor. It doesn’t have problems with its Western neighbors. It is small; and its economy is in relatively good shape (rusmonitor.com/pavel-pryanikov-rossiya-sama-ottalkivaet-svoego-poslednego-soyuznika-belorussiyu.html).
Those qualities will make Belarus a far more attractive candidate for membership as far as the West is concerned despite everything people say about Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his authoritarian regime. And Belarus will almost certainly move in that direction given the arrogant and aggressive ways Moscow has behaved in recent weeks.
The scandals surrounding Putin’s man in Minsk are only the most recent, but they may prove the most telling both in Minsk and in Brussels as well (topcor.ru/6836-pochemu-v-minske-razgnevalis-iz-za-razgovorov-rossijskogo-posla-pro-dengi.html, reform.by/aleksej-venediktov-naznachenie-babicha-naznachenie-prokuratora-v-zavoevannuju-provinciju/ and svobodaradio.livejournal.com/3896780.html).
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