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Thread: The crunch in Belorus.

  1. #1
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    12 Aug 08

    The crunch in Belorus.

    It seems that the times of the Belorussian autocrat 'shuffling' (or playing off) his Eastern neighbour against his Western neighbours, an act he has succeeded in playing for years while at times persecuting his people and at others providing them an informal blessing to protest, may finally be coming to an end.

    The problem is that Moscow is increasingly anxious to finally formalise the so called 'Union State' - an idea that 'in principle' was agreed in 1996. It is, as it were, the Muscovite equivalent of the European Union derived from their counterpart of the Eurasian Economic Union - the 'free trade area' that the Muscovite 'federation', Kazakhstan and Belorus are supposed to have between them - in theory. The Belorusian National Assembly (the supposed 'Parliament') actually passed the 'Union State' ratification in 2000. The 'Union State' actually envisages a "Supreme State Council", a Council of Ministers and joint Union Parliament (of which 75 deputies would be 'elected' from Muscovy and 28 from Belarus), a common currency and common 'Court of the Union'.

    None of this exists needless to say because obviously Lukashenka want to keep hold of his own personal fiefdom, he notoriously does not on with or trust Putin and does not want Belarus to become another victim of Putin's neo imperialism. For this reason he spoke out about the Muscovite annexation of Crimea and offered to 'mediate' the so called Minsk Accords; it is in his interests to support the independence of Ukraine as should he not he too would be doomed.

    From Moscow's imperialistic point of view the incorporation of Belarus into a 'Union State' that they would dominate has great strategic advantages threatening the Baltics - the only connection being the 'Suwalki Gap' between the main 'Union State' and the Muscovite enclave of Konnigsburg/Kaliningrad and effectively threatening a Lviv/Lwow Gap to close the southern border of Ukraine and Poland. In addition it has been speculated that should this 'Union State' be said to have been created before 2024, when Putin must step down as President (again) after his second second consecutive term, a 'new state' could be said to come into existence and so Putin could become the first President of the 'Union State' when duly 'elected'.

    So the problem is money, and that Muscovy does not enough of it to subsidise Belarusian gas as it does with it's own slaves - or rather this is the excuse but basically both the autocrats are greedy thieves who do not trust each other. So the current gas dispute started last November - gas and oil being the main leverage Moscow uses to force others to do as they are told. This dispute actually came after supplies to Belarus - and Poland, Czechia etc via the Druzhba ('Friendship') pipeline (which supplies around 10% of Europes energy needs at present) were found to be contaminated with some chemical. Muscovy cut it off to solve the problem and this of course deprived Belarus (and the onward customers) of revenue while it was sorted out. Belarus (and the others) obviously asked for compensation but Transneft refused resulting in an appeal to the Stockholm Tribunal (that awarded the Ukrainian Naftogaz over $4bn in damages against Gazprom) that is due later this year.

    Following that Moscow, in the guise of Gazprom, decided that prices for Belorusian gas supply in 2020 must rise. Naturally Luka objects as from the Belorusian point of view where is the compensation for the bad oil? and on New Years Day Moscow cut the supply. This is after the 'happy couple' of the would be 'Union State' met in Sochi on December 7th last year - there are videos of them skiing together. The talks however were a failure; the energy price being the main thorn supposedly. Well yesterday Belarus requested gas from Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and basically anyone who was willing to help them escape the Muscovite blackmail.

    Sorry something was wrong earlier and I could not post this link:
    Last edited by snapper; 15 Jan 20, at 16:06.

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