New Belarus for New Russia: past, present, future

By Michael Delyagin, Director of the Institute on Problems of Globalization.

At the moment of disintegration of the Soviet Union Belarus of the time didn't in any way stand out for Russia from the general circle of the states of the postSoviet space. Democratic movement there was rather moderated (and had basically character of ecological reaction to Chernobyl accident), antisovietism and anticommunism were limited to a narrow layer of intelligence and separate representatives of culture.

Shushkevich was quite ordinary and at that rather pet "democrat", Yeltsin's environment had no unsolvable problems in relations with him - and on a background of the general increase of catastrophic tendencies it led to such situation when they in Russia simply forgot about Belarus.

Actually, Russia was caught up into internal problems to such a degree that it forgot about all external world - except for the USA which gave democratic management credits and legitimacy and Germany which rendered humanitarian help. But Belarus was forgotten more strongly and more deeply, than about others because it did not disturb even with such ordinary things for the postSoviet democrats as inadequacy of diplomatic representatives and ethnic cleanings in relation to the Russians.

Belarus was associated only with a place of signing of the document on cancellation of the Soviet Union - with Viskuly - but in chaos of the reform begun and disintegration of a daily life it did not cause any negative feelings any more.

For the first time they recollected about Belarus in Russia after Lukashenka's victory.

He was focused on the interests of the country and already therefore could not back up on the developed countries of the West aspired to maintain profit for their corporations at any cost. Besides the opponents recently won by him backed up on the West (corruption and incompetence of this opponents provided Lukashenka's coming to power).

Only Russia could be an alternative support.

Besides Lukashenka, obviously, sincerely considered Yeltsin's Russia though democratic and corrupted, but nevertheless the successor of the Soviet Union to which he sincerely turned to and which he considered as the correct type of a state system corresponding the needs of Belarus.

Therefore making of an agreement in 1994 on creation of the Allied state was, as it is represented, first of all Lukashenko's merit.

It was for new Russian elite the means of satisfying a phantom pain from disintegration of the USSR - including in its own numbers at the time included still big number of sincere patriots of the Soviet Union. (Hatred to the Soviet Union as it was when any integration on the postSoviet space caused tearing away as "a step to restoration of the USSR", to the end of 1994 was practically eliminated even among the most notorious Russian democrats in power).

But what to do with new (and, as a matter of fact, the only sincere) ally and what for it is necessary to the governors of Russia nobody knew - as they still don't know up today.

Nevertheless relations of new Belarus with new Russia started from Lukashenko and not from Shushkevich who is perceived today as simple filler of a short historical pause.

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