Monday, May 01, 2006

Putin Supports Lukashenka In Effort To Stamp Out All Political Opposition To Neo-Soviet Reconsolidation of Former Soviet Union

..."[Lukashenko] noted that the situation in Belarus is calm like before the elections. “People work, the economy functions well”, Alexander Lukashenko said.

“We have been working as usually regardless all political whirls or somebody’s attempts to play the role of opposition. We have a saying “You don’t shake your fist when the fight is over”. I had assured you before the election that we would conduct the campaign quietly, so that you would not be ashamed for having supported us,” the head of the Belarusian state said.

At the same time, as the president of Belarus said, “the time of emotions is going away. There comes the time of pragmatism and implementation of the plans”.

Alexander Lukashenko said that regardless all the buzz, Americans and Europeans are open for cooperation with Belarus. “We have been cooperating in all vitally important issues, especially in economy,” the head of the Belarusian state emphasized.

Vladimir Putin asked his Belarusian counterpart if the country was able to consolidate political forces to solve the political issues.

In response, Alexander Lukashenko declared that there was no need for political consolidation in Belarus after the presidential election. “Consolidation of political forces is a very important issue. We have not such a problem. Virtually all the population voted for the incumbent president even those who should have voted for the opposition. Therefore, should the consolidation take place, there are no more than a thousand or two, mostly young people, to be consolidated,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “I cannot say that these two thousand are not important for us. Yet if they continue to be against us, we will manage without them. We will lead the country in the right direction. Neither Russia nor international community will be ashamed for us,” the Belarusian leader added.

In turn, Vladimir Putin said that he was glad to hear the Belarusian president had a constructive attitude. “I am sure that all our plans will be implemented,” he said." ...

Belarus Telegraph [Offical State] News Agency "Presidents of Belarus, Russia discuss bilateral cooperation" April 28, 2006


MOSCOW: "Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday offered rare international support to Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, whom he said had reached out to opponents following his contested re-election last month.

“It was nice to hear that you intend to work constructively with all sides,” Putin told Lukashenko, a pariah in the West, during a televised meeting in a Saint Petersburg palace.

The meeting, part of which was broadcast on Russian state television, came a day after a court in the Belarussian capital Minsk sentenced chief opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich to 15 days in prison for attending what police said was an illegal demonstration.

Milinkevich, came a distant second in the election was jailed along with three other opposition figures in the former Soviet republic.

It came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Nato chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, meeting in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, clashed over Milinkevich’s jailing.

“Belarus was one of the issues discussed where Russia and the alliance are quite far apart,” NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

“We did not see eye to eye,” he added.

De Hoop Scheffer said Belarus had failed to live up to Nato values enshrined in the Partnership for Peace, a cooperation agreement signed with ex-communist states after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“These issues have to be decided through engagement and dialogue, not through isolation,” Lavrov responded.

Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won a third term in office in a landslide victory in March 19 presidential elections that sparked protests at home and international condemnation.

The United States and European Union say the former Soviet farm boss’ election victory to a third term on March 19 was neither free nor fair. Both Washington and Brussels have slapped visa bans on Lukashenko.

Putin’s stand was in sharp contrast to the US and EU positions. He appeared to call on opposition activists — about 1,000 of whom have been briefly jailed since election day for attending anti-Lukashenko protests — to end their fight. “Once all emotions have subsided, I count on all who took part in the campaign to concentrate on development of the state,” Putin was quoted as saying.

Lukashenko claimed that “almost the entire population and part of the opposition voted” for him, newspapers reported. Russia, together with China, Cuba and a handful of ex-Soviet republics, has bucked the Western outcry over the Belarussian election. Moscow props up Belarus’ Soviet-style economy with vital export markets and cheap natural gas supplies, although the state-controlled Gazprom giant says the price is due to rise. Russia and the small ex-Soviet country of 10mn people, which borders EU-members Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, have also been engaged in talks on a possible unification for years." ...

"Putin praises Belarus leader for ‘working with opponents’" Gulf Times [Doha], April 29, 2006

Putin and Lukashenka: 2008 Opponents for the 'Presidency' of a revived, nuclear armed Soviet Union?

Two of the leading opponents of 'globalization' met in Petersburg, the Russian Federation, last Friday, to discuss their efforts to stamp out freedom of speech and assembly in, and to reunify, the historically 'Slavonic' portions of the Former Soviet Union, plus resource-rich Kazakhstan.

Photo credit: Belarus Telegraph Agency. With thanks.


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