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Nov 12, 2021
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Lukashenka and Crimea

In December, the President of Belarus may arrive in Yalta

For all his apparent straightforwardness, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko sometimes displays such examples of diplomatic flexibility that even the recognized masters of world politics will envy. So, with his statement about Crimea on the Day of National Unity of Russia on November 4, he again provoked a variety of interpretations. In the parliament of Belarus, the chairman of the commission on international affairs A. Savinykh assessed the words of Lukashenko as an unambiguous recognition of the entry of Crimea into the Russian Federation. In Moscow, the attitude is rather ambivalent – it seems to be recognized, but somehow metaphorical. In Ukraine, among the officials – at first, there was no reaction, they say, there was nothing like that. In addition to the expressed readiness to visit Crimea, although without specifying a date, Lukashenko asked V. Putin to convey congratulations on the state holiday to the Crimeans on his behalf. In fact, taking into account the meaning of this date, this is the recognition of the ownership of Crimea by Russia. However, Moscow, apparently, would still like to hear clearer legal formulations from the Belarusian ally on this matter and see clearer political actions. His craftiness with the idea of ​​a joint visit to Crimea did not pass. After all, then we can say that he was not there of his own free will. It seems that he was invited to visit the peninsula himself, so that there would be no further ambiguity.

Lukashenka is sometimes very diplomatic

It seems that the other day Foreign Minister V. Makei, who is known for his inclination to “multi-vector” approach, expressed himself more clearly the other day. According to him, in Belarus they understand that Crimea “Is now Russian territory”… However, in general, the position of Minsk remains “unchanged”, and the visit of the Belarusian president there will depend on “agreements between the two leaders.”

V. Makei speaks about Crimea

V. Makei speaks about Crimea

After Makei’s words, Kiev nevertheless started up. Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, threatened: “Changing the approach of Belarus for de jure recognition of the” temporarily occupied “Crimea as the territory of Russia will lead to irreparable consequences for the Ukrainian-Belarusian relations”… He hardly scared anyone in Minsk with this. The ties between the two countries have been undermined to an extreme degree through the fault of Kiev. Belarus does not depend on Ukraine in any way, but without the supply of Belarusian electricity and oil products, Ukraine will not survive the coming winter. As long as it is trading with might and main, even with Russia, which it proclaimed as an “aggressor”, then it will clearly not be able to curtail trade with Minsk because of Crimea. First Vice-Speaker of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, a native of Ukrainian Volyn Yefim Fiks called the threats of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to Minsk are “ridiculous and ridiculous”, and its policy is “vile”.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine - a self-proclaimed EU member, judging by the flags

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine – a self-proclaimed member of the EU, judging by the flags

In principle, Lukashenka’s visit to the peninsula and his meeting with the local authorities, which will be the recognition of their belonging to Russia, may well become the last step in Belarus’s full acceptance of Russian sovereignty over Crimea.

Moreover, there is an excellent reason for this, which can allow Lukashenka not only to fulfill his promises and obligations to partners in the Union State, but also to score considerable points in the confrontation with the Belarusian nationalist opposition.

The point is that December 9 marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of one of the most sacred figures of Belarusian culture, poet, publicist and educator Maxim Bogdanovich. M. Bogdanovich, who lived only 25 years, managed to write vivid poems that were included in all the anthologies of Belarusian literature, and left deep articles on the themes of national and world cultural revival. According to polls, Belarusians consider him the best national poet. He died of illness in 1917 in Yalta and was buried there. Singing service according to the Orthodox rite in the Yalta Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky. The local Belarusian community of Crimea (the fifth largest among the peoples of the peninsula), together with the local authorities, plans to hold jubilee celebrations on the occasion of the upcoming anniversary, to which Lukashenka is also invited.

Grave of M. Bogdanovich in Yalta

Grave of M. Bogdanovich in Yalta

Maxim Bogdanovich

Maxim Bogdanovich

You should know that for the supporters of the idea of ​​“Belarus as the successor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL)” M. Bogdanovich is an icon. On the words of his poem “Chase”, a song of the same name was written, proclaimed by the Belarusian opposition “the sovereign anthem of Belarus for all time.” (“Only in an anxious heart I feel [исторические ворота в Вильнюсе. – Ред.] // and Heroes on formidable horses. // Horses are rushing in white foam, // They are torn, rushing and wheezing heavily …

The text

The text “Shoots” by M. Bogdanovich

At the same time, M. Bogdanovich’s “Lithuanianism” was not of a Russophobic character, as is the case with many modern supporters of the GDL idea. His appeal to this legacy was not limited to a desire to be under the influence of Warsaw or Vilnius, but rather asserted the right of Minsk to the Belarusian lands they occupied. Many threads connected Bogdanovich with Russia. Together with his father, he spent a significant part of his life in Yaroslavl and Nizhny Novgorod, where his memory is carefully honored. The poet’s father Adam Bogdanovich maintained friendly relations with M. Gorky, with whom they became related after the death of the first wife, having married the sisters of E.P. and A.P. Volzhin. Gorky often visited their home and influenced the love of his friend’s son for literature. The poet was in love with a Russian girl from Yaroslavl, Anna Kokueva, to whom he dedicated his most heartfelt lyric poems.

Monument to M. Bogdanovich in Yaroslavl, a copy of the Minsk monument

Monument to M. Bogdanovich in Yaroslavl, a copy of the Minsk monument

Unlike others, raised by the Belarusian opposition on the shield of historical figures like one of the leaders of the 1863 uprising, the Polish nobleman K. Kalinovsky, mired in the blood of peaceful people, M. Bogdanovich in the memory of Russians and Belarusians is not a separating figure, but a unifying one. By his presence at his anniversary, Lukashenko could not only respond to Moscow’s aspirations for the recognition of Crimea, but also intercept the national agenda from the most irreconcilable part of the Belarusian opposition. After all, she will definitely not be on the grave of the nation’s favorite, Lukashenka will pay tribute to the poet on behalf of all Belarusians. Under such circumstances, it will be difficult for the opposition to accept the president’s visit to Crimea with hostility.

In addition, in the resort Crimea, there are attractive property objects of Belarus, which Lukashenko has repeatedly mentioned. The sooner he, with his personal presence, confirms her right to them, the more he will preserve them, and perhaps increase them. If you wait too long, you might lose something. First of all, it is, of course, the complex of the sanatorium “Belorussia” in Miskhor with the adjacent vast territory, where the presidential residence is located. Another memorial bust to M. Bogdanovich was installed in this complex. The Belarusian business is also interested in other sanatoriums, hotels and restaurants, as well as in the construction industry, retail and wholesale trade in Crimea. In Sevastopol, for example, the wholesale trading company Alfa Mebel has Belarusian roots.

Sanatorium

Sanatorium “Belorussia” in the Crimean Miskhor

Sometimes the question arises: was Lukashenka late with his recognition of Crimea, is it really necessary for Moscow now? Necessary. The fact is that, until recently, the lack of recognition from Minsk was the main justification for taking a similar position by a number of other countries in the post-Soviet space. There is reason to believe that after the formalized demarche of Belarus on this score, a series of similar actions will follow on their part, which will deal a serious blow to the international isolation of the peninsula. In addition to political reasons for this, as in the case of the Belarusians, there are also economic ones. Many former Soviet republics in the resort Crimea are left with seductive real estate with an unclear legal status (sanatorium “Uzbekistan”, etc.). If you delay too much, you can lose it. Direct flights to Simferopol for young national airlines can also become a highly profitable destination.

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