Monday, April 29, 2019

Moscow Should Use Citizenship Weapon in Belarus as well as in Ukraine, Baranchik Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 28 – Providing a simplified path to Russian citizenship for people in the Donbass and indeed all Ukraine is a useful weapon for Moscow in its drive to recover its patrimony, Yury Baranchik says. And this tool should be used in Belarus as well, he continues (

            Offering this path to people in the Donbass shows that Russia has “gone over to the offensive” there, the Rex news agency commentator argued in an essay posted on the Regnum news agency a few days ago ( Now is no time to stop but rather the occasion to use the same tactic again and again.

                Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russia is “ready to offer its citizenship to all residents of Ukraine has had the impact of a bomb going off,” Baranchik says. “It is a very strong move since one is speaking about the conclusion of the civil conflict in Ukraine.”

            “Kyiv has had five years to extinguish the flames of a civil war but nothing has been done to achieve that end. People are tired of this conflict that has been created by the authorities on the border of the Russian world.” And the commentator insists it’s reasonable to conclude that Ukraine stands on the brink of disintegration. An offer of Russian citizenship will accelerate that.

            But such a movement of people and thus of territory back to Russia will be even more appropriate and rapid in “the other half of the Union state since in Belarus, supporters of union with Russia are yet move than in Ukraine.”  According to Baranchik, “about 80 to 85 percent of Belarusians today would be “happy to receive Union of Russian citizenship.”

            If the process takes off in the Donbass and then in Ukraine as it will, the commentator continues, Belarusians will soon be asking: “Why can residents of Ukraine become citizens of Russia but not us?” There is also no doubt lines at the Russian consulates in Belarus will be longer than those in Donetsk and Luhansk.

            That will give Russia and Russians a victory at far less cost than the one it is in fact winning in Ukraine, Baranchik suggests.

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