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Transmission

Lukashenka Says 'We Can't Be Dicing Up' Europe's Borders Again

It seems Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (right) is not too happy with the policies of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right) vis-a-vis Ukraine. (file photo)
It seems Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (right) is not too happy with the policies of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right) vis-a-vis Ukraine. (file photo)

Even after decades of making the most eccentric statements, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka can still impress.

In an interview with Kazakhstan's 16/12 Internet television channel posted on October 5, he flatly condemned Russia's bid to redraw international borders in Europe.

Lukashenka argued that, once the process of rearranging borders according to historical claims begins, there is no end to it -- and Russia might end up disappearing if the borders of the medieval Mongol-Tatar Yoke are revived.

"Then we would have to give to Mongolia and Kazakhstan and someone else practically all the territory of Russia and Western Europe and Eastern Europe -- except for Belarus," he said. "They [the Mongols] made it to us somehow but they didn't bother us. So what is the point of returning to what was in the past? We can't be dicing up the borders again. "

He added that Europe's current borders are reinforced by numerous international agreements, which cannot be ignored and should not be nullified. 

WATCH: Lukashenka's Slams Russia's Ukraine Policy (In Russian)

 

Although he was speaking mostly of the current conflict between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March, his comments are equally applicable to Russia's recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and Russia's support of the separatist region of Transdniester in Moldova.

Lukashenka's outspoken position -- and his reference to Kazakhstan -- is all the more surprising because Belarus and Kazakhstan are pushing ahead with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project, which remains the centerpiece of Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy. 

The three presidents are expected to meet in Minsk on October 10 to exchange ratification documents for the EEU Treaty, which will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

But Russia's policies in Ukraine have clearly alarmed former Soviet countries, including staunch allies Belarus and Kazakhstan. 

During a question-and-answer session in August, Putin set off alarm bells in Astana by arguing that "the Kazakhs never had their own state" and that modern Kazakhstan was "created" by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

-- Robert Coalson

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Amerislavski from: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
October 10, 2014 09:45
The world is being turned upside down. Either Lukashenka has suddenly become a voice of reason in the post-Soviet space, or he has an amazing PR machine. I only hope Putin doesn't turn on him to make an example. Perhaps Putin is allowing him to be his foil, for appearances sake. Still can't shake odd feeling of agreeing with Lukashenka. Wow...
In Response

by: Evan Larkspur from: NY
October 10, 2014 12:54
Da! It's hard to believe that Lukashenko would be recognizing the dangers of imperialism and dictators run amuck, and speaking out, but I think we can all see this as an I dictation of just how far beyond the pale Putin has really gone. Putin's allies were pretty sparse and not really the best recommendation to begin with (North Korea?!) but when he begins losing even opportunist they, it shows how far he has gone.

by: tsavalas01 from: USA
October 12, 2014 10:53
Wow! I love when some political leaders (like Lukashenko) come out with the same arguments that I have been defending with my wife, family and friends. Read this wonderful report about using "history to justify invading other Countries". Putin is being using this wrong philosophy to invade Crimea (Ukraine), Trinistar (Moldova), and Tiblisi (Georgia-Grusia). :))

by: Sevenov from: Berlin
October 13, 2014 04:07
Old Luke has always been mercurial in his dealings with the west and Russia and the 'near abroad'. He managed to get what Belarus needed right from Yeltsin regime to now. Sweet, sour, angry, coy, he has always managed to play the game. On the other hand would he he be so forthright when he meets Rasputin face to face? Maybe he thinks the 'Force' is with him. If true his reference to 'dicing up European borders again' is most refreshing!

by: JLNancy
October 14, 2014 07:27
Yeah, his broadcasted comments are surprising…

And I’m sure he’s already gotten the infamous Putin-warning phone-call re you better not be publicly supporting and agreeing with them-there *fascists* anymore OR ELSE

Putin and his team undoubtedly watch enough Law and Order reruns (lol) on RuSSian TV to have learned how to instigate damage control and hatch a plan to circumnavigate even Lukashenka’s lucid public opinions re the RF’s aggression.

Tiny e.g. “Oh, Alyaksandr forgot to take his meds before voicing his opinions. Not his fault that he talked rubbish.”

by: Panas Spec from: Us
October 15, 2014 22:53
Naturally Lukashenka is correct. So what is the point of Poroshenko and Putin getting together? They agreed on ceasefire in Minsk, but the Russians are not observing it. So what is the point of talking to the Russians again when we know they will honor such agreements? Saying that the terrorists in Ukraine can not be controlled by Kremlin is pure hogwash. All Kremlin has to do is stop all support.

by: Panas Spec from: US
October 15, 2014 23:08
When Soviet Union broke apart, not a single region in Ukraine voted to be part of Russian Federation. So where does this "Nova Rossia" come from with all the bloodshed?!

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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