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  Vladimir Vodo, Andrej Rezchikov. “To arouse envy in Moscow”

2010 07 01

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested to Lithuania remembering their common soviet past and jointly struggle for independence.

During the negotiations in Minsk with the Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius, the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded him that both states “have been living for a long time as one state”, and suggested to make “promptly” joint steps “for strengthening independence, sovereignty and the power of our states”.

“We meet similar problems. And so far as they are similar, the directions for solutions might be also similar, - stated Lukashenko, - We may do much today. Very much. But if we loose time, something might be lost as well”.

In response to his words Kubilius acknowledged that the two countries are in the position of good cooperation for strengthening independence, “in particular in the field of energy”. “We are all aware that being dependent only on one supplier of any resources leads to arising of problems. It is good to have an alternative, as suggests economical logics” - he stated.

According to his words, Vilnius and Minsk “have good opportunities for drafting clear and efficient projects”. “Thus we may reinforce independence, sovereignty and elaborate common strategic projects in the implementation of which, I suppose, the European Union might be interested as well.

Kubilius added that the EU initiative “Eastern Partnership” may offer good possibilities for strengthening mutual cooperation between the two states.

Prime Minister of Belarus Sergej Sidorskij forwarded an unexpected statement offering to diversify the supply of natural gas by constructing a terminal for liquid gas in the Lithuanian sea port Klaipeda, including the refinery plant. For the delivery of gas Sidorskij suggests to lay a new pipeline from Lithuania to Belarus. “A main gas-pipeline in the length of 285 kilometres will not require big investments. The project is worth the cost and very efficient. May be, in the nearest future we might implement it,” – stated Belarusian Prime Minister during the meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart.

Earlier this year the two Prime Ministers – Kubilius and Sidorskij – travelled to the Lithuania seaside, where they discussed possibilities for the delivery of oil from Venezuela to Belarus.

By the end of April a special governmental delegation with Sidorskij at the head arrived in Klaipeda. Prime Minister Kubilius stated then, that he considers the project of transit transportation of the Venezuelan oil to Belarus via Klaipeda a realistic one.

Deputy Chairman of the Gosduma on the CIS issues Konstantin Zatulin had no doubts that the proposal by Lukashenko to Lithuania to reinforce independence jointly with Belarus is related to the recent issues of the indebtedness for gas to Russia. “Lukashenko is looking for outside supporters and is trying to please the European circles, hoping that his sharp remarks addressed to the Kremlin would give him corresponding credit”, said Zatulin to the newspaper ВЗГЛЯД.

However, the deputy is convinced that Europe is not going to rush supporting “Batjky” since there are subjects in the EU who are interested in “strengthening of forces in Russia for counteractions on the post-soviet area”.

With regards to the perspective of cooperation between Vilnius and Minsk, then, Zatulin noted “that Lithuania has its own home raised local nationalism, which would not miss the occasion to consider its great names of the past”. “It is obvious that Lukashenko is willing to find those who would cooperate with him anywhere. Within this entire search, there is no real compensation for special relations of Belarus with Russia. Lukashenko understands that, too, therefore the next goal of recent statements is to arouse envy in Moscow”.

According to the words of the Deputy, on the eve of Presidential elections in Belarus, Lukashenko fears that Moscow may keep at a distance from him or even support his competitors, which do not yet exist, but might appear, considers Zatulin.

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from «ВЗГЛЯД» of 28 06 2010

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