Belarus has no choice but to orient itself 100% towards Russia. This means that the bureaucratic stagnation of the “Union State” will surely magically clear up in the near future, Tim Kirby writes.
It is no surprise that the downing of the Ryanair flight in Belarus, supposedly due to a bomb threat which took Mr. Protasevich into custody, caused a storm of international fury from the West. But the big question is why did Lukashenko decide to do this? The likelihood that this was truly a bomb threat from Hamas is very low as they are unmotivated to attack neutral Eastern Europe and have publicly denied putting any explosive device on that plane. This means that it is not unreasonable to break down this situation from the standpoint that the objective of the action was not connected to any bomb threat. On the surface it seems that the goal was to nab Western-funded babyface journalist/terrorist/genocide fanboy Roman Protasevich. But is the life of this one man worth the blowback for Minsk? Or is the blowback exactly what Minsk wanted?
Proving the motivation behind one’s actions is very difficult. During the Trump period it was always up for debate whether his actions were motivated by long-term planning, his massive ego, the advisors around him, the Liberal theory that he is an insane monster, or some mysterious factor unseen to the majority of journalists. The truth is that his decision making as a human being comes from a whole mess of different factors making it impossible to determine why he would choose to do one thing over another. But what is possible to determine is what the results of Trump’s actions would be. So we can never truly know why Lukashenko chose to down that airplane but we can look at what the results of this action are likely to yield.
Firstly, Protasevich just like all other Liberal-Nationalist ghouls in Eastern Europe is expendable and very often the death of this type of person gets more value out of them, than their actual work does. Kiev found a hero in Stepan Bandera not because of any successes he had, because he had none, but because of his death, assassinated by the evil Russians making him a martyr. Because activists of this type are replaceable, and executing Protasevich will only turn him into a folk hero, it seems to be a terrible idea to take him into custody by downing an international flight. If this is a game of risk and reward then the risk seems to vastly outshine the reward. Why would someone who has been politically isolated for many years and is considered “the last dictator in Europe” want to bring all the economic heat of the USA/EU down upon themselves over one small expendable man?
Perhaps this is because the desired result is actually to be shoved out of Washington’s sphere of influence forever and Protasevich is a means to that end. For those in Belarus with pro-Russian leanings (definitely the majority of the public) then this move should look like a moment of triumph. Belarus finally has absolutely no choice left but to go East.
For over two decades now Russia and Belarus have existed on paper as a “Union State”. From within Russia this was hailed as a major victory in restoring a greater civilization, but after many years this big win remains mostly theoretical and on paper. Yes, there is no factual border between the countries and the ease of living and working between citizens of the two nations is palpable compared to other former Soviet Republics, but there has been no great merger. The desired results for the pro-Russian side would be to at least have the nations become as intertwined as those in the EU and at the most just melt into one nation with one currency, one army and one everything.
This Moscow-Minsk daydream has not happened. Although Russians tend to do things in a pokey manner with many smoke breaks, 20+ years has been plenty of time to get this all worked out. The blame for the delay has been put on the treacherous nature of many local politicians, power plays by Washington, gross governmental inefficiency on both sides and/or the seemingly two-faced politics of “Dad” aka Lukashenko despite Russia basically keeping Belarus afloat via seemingly endless loans.
The classic Color Revolution attempt recently carried out against Lukashenko should have proved to him that in the 21st century the politics of a balancing act do not work. The classical idea of a smaller nation trying to balance itself between great powers for their own benefit is obsolete in a Monopolar World. It’s Washington’s way or the highway and Dad nearly paid the price for living in the Cold War from a foreign policy standpoint. Today the rules are a zero-sum game – you must submit to Washington 100% to stay in power. Any value of submission less than 100% is the equivalent of 0% and your days are numbered, ask Gaddafi.
Whether he knows it or not, whether it was planned or not, Lukashenko has now completely put all of his chips down on Russia via the delaying of the Ryanair flight and arrest of Western asset Protasevich. There is no going back and the end result of this decision is that Belarus has no choice but to orient itself 100% towards Russia. This means that the bureaucratic stagnation of the “Union State” will surely magically clear up in the near future.
Western economic and travel isolation of Belarus gives them really only one option and perhaps this was by design as a form of revenge or pragmatism after the Color Revolution flared up in support of Tikhanovskaya. Just like everything in Russian civilization this should have been done years ago, but when Russians do finally take action they go hardcore. The stars have aligned, by the pen of Lukashenko. Belarus is most likely to go back home with no looking back either by absorption or as part of some new EU-like structure.