Opinion. Yahor Lebiadok on risks of Belarus losing statehood

Photo from the personal archive of Yahor Lebiadok
4 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. Егор Лебедок о рисках Беларуси потерять государственность
На беларускай мове: Меркаванне. Ягор Лебядок пра рызыкі Беларусі страціць дзяржаўнасць

Columnist Yahor Lebiadok in his Telegram channel published a post in which he talks about the possible ways of losing of statehood by Belarus and why today it is not too late to realize yourself as an independent people, to defend independence and Belarusian national values. We quote his words unchanged.

«Belarus risks losing its statehood if the sanctions pressure continues.»

Establishing ties with the EU on the principle of «if you do not support the current government, then Russia will be here» was already worked out in 2014-2018. At that time, within the war between Russia and Ukraine, the military-political independence of Belarus was really important for the EU. But over the past year, Belarus in the military-political sense has become an operational space for actions of Russian troops. Additional Russian aerospace forces are deployed in Belarus. And in general, the military rhetoric against Ukraine has changed: the deployment of Iskanders at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, and joint exercises with Russians are planned there, and Belarus will not stand aside in case of war between Ukraine and Russia. It is difficult to imagine who in the EU and especially in the military structures of NATO now takes Belarus independently from Russia in military and political terms. Therefore, the threat of Belarus losing sovereignty in this regard for the EU is no longer as terrible as it was before.

The path of loss of independence is not specifically voiced. Maybe we will become a part of China or a new emirate in the UAE? Imagine a picture of North Korea telling the world that if they don't end the sanctions, North Korea will become a part of South Korea. I think Iran and other countries under sanctions wouldn't even think about it.

Being a little ironic, we can say that this statement is a manifestation of the skill of asymmetric actions. That is, in response to the imposition of sanctions against Belarus – to abolish the state of Belarus! It can be understood how such logic arises: the schemes of renaming and changing the owners of organizations to circumvent sanctions have long been worked out, such thinking is transferred to the country — to sell/transfer to another formal owner. When it comes to power for the sake of power and enrichment, it doesn’t matter who the formal owner is, it doesn’t matter whether you own as president or as the head of some union parliament. The main thing is power.

In context of current politico-military situation, it is appropriate to remember a statement of A. Kozyrev, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, made during his participation in a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the CSCE (now the OSCE), just on December 11, 1992: «The space of the former Soviet Union cannot be considered as a zone of full application of the norms of the CSCE. This is, in fact, a post-imperial space where Russia will have to defend its interests using all available means, including military and economic. We will firmly insist that the former republics of the USSR immediately join the new federation or confederation, and there will be a tough conversation about this».  The rhetoric and actions of Russian authorities, regardless of who runs the country, have been the same for three decades. Now V. Putin declares «red lines» in relations with Ukraine. And in this regard, yesterday there was a statement by Joe Biden about not recognizing anyone’s «red lines» in the context of future talks with Putin. This is actually an important statement for the politico-military development of our region. What these words will turn into will be seen in the next couple of months.

In the 1990s, rudimentary-nomenclatural thinking and struggle for the survival of people led to a lack of awareness of themselves as a people and an understanding of the importance of independence and strategic goals. Many acted for the sake of short-term gain, succumbing to populism, including for the sake, as it seemed then, of the future of children and their prosperous old age. But 30 years have passed, a generation has grown up, and the political problems of the state are the same. And a prosperous old age is in question not only because of the economy, but also because of possible military actions, including with Ukraine. And all that was required was to say then that we do not recognize the right of Russia or other countries to our state, and to build Belarus independent not only on paper. Yes, it would have been hard economically in the beginning, but easier now. Today it is not too late to realize ourselves as an independent people, to defend independence and Belarusian national values, and not Russian or Western ones. Although it is no less difficult, but this is how they become full-fledged states, and not just the population of the territory.

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