Opinion. Shraibman on whether to cause alarm over the decree on integration

3 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. Шрайбман о том, стоит ли поднимать панику из-за декрета об интеграции
На беларускай мове: Меркаванне. Шрайбман тлумачыць, ці варта падымаць паніку праз дэкрэт аб інтэграцыі

Yesterday, Lukashenko signed a decree on the implementation of the provisions of the Union State treaty. Does this mean that integration will be in full swing? Artem Shraibman, Belarusian political analyst, suggests not to panic and calls the incident "a massage of the Kremlin's erogenous zones".

Here is a post from his Telegram channel unchanged.

Alarmists will always find a reason for panic, so it makes no sense for a hundred and third time to delve into the fact that the signed documents a) are far from the version of 2019 with political integration, b) are delayed in time and de jure not tied to specific carrots and sticks, c) are vaguely worded (harmonization, common approaches, rapprochement), that is, they can be interpreted in different ways and for years to fight for these interpretations.

After all, we have a more than 20 years signed and entered into force agreement on the single currency, parliament, constitution and even symbols, but we can’t even cancel roaming.

The same applies to the signed Allied military doctrine and the concept of migration policy. These are declarations that, unlike the combat training center and the S-400 located near Grodno, have no direct consequences and are taken rather for fanfare.

No details of the new Russian support were heard. In a small amount (0.6 billion loans for a year and a half) it was promised two months ago, and apparently linked to the implementation of Union programs.

To emphasize that Minsk is already abundantly fed, Putin again cited his already branded calculations of energy subsidies that Russia gives to Belarus. That wedding is bad which doesn’t start with figuring out who chipped in more.

But finalizing the roadmaps is symbolically important. The parties with their own hands lowered the bar of ambitions of Union building, bringing topics like the single currency into the foreseeable future.

The fact that Lukashenko is one step closer to recognizing Crimea as Russian (congratulating the residents of Crimea on the day of Russian national unity) and asked to take him there means that Minsk has again decided to lean on rhetoric, massage of the Kremlin erogenous zones, instead of actions.

Lukashenko usually does this when he is not ready to offer real concessions. I wonder what will happen if Putin seriously invites him and, for example, publicly. Backing off on it? The same evening, The Solovyovs-Kiselyovs will destroy Lukashenko in their shows. To go there is to risk billions of fuel sales to Ukraine.

The «epochality» of the moment from the point of view of Russia is emphasized by the fact that Putin took a step back from the holiday in the Crimea to a zoom call with Minsk.

Although, if the documents really implied a breakthrough integration, it would be difficult for the Kremlin to come up with a stronger symbolic gesture than to sign them in person and solemnly on the Russian Day of National Unity – even in Sevastopol, even in Brest, even in the taiga.

P.S. An interesting story — with the recognition of the Crimea «de facto and de jure to be Russian», which was made by deputy Savinyh on behalf of the whole Belarus. The deputy and ex-ambassador seems to have wanted to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a long time by making foreign policy statements against Makei’s line. He has long proposed to abandon multi-vector, by the way.

Apparently, the expectation is that the pro-Russian wind will sooner or later demolish Makei, and in the new, more Donetsk Belarus, it will be necessary to have such a minister as Andrei Savinyh.

The miscalculation of the deputy is not that he puts all the eggs in one basket, but that once again he allows himself to speak about his political ambitions out loud. This is not a quality that Lukashenko appreciates in people. But maybe the addressee of Savin’s signals is not in Minsk, but in the Kremlin, such as «notice me for the future». If so, it’s even bolder. So to speak, put it all on zero.

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