In China, where Alyaksandr Lukashenka flew in advance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the head of Belarus was welcomed by officials. On the first day of the congress he met with the Iranian president and the Mongolian leader at a bilateral meeting.
Participation in the summit is more of a PR activity, political scientists say. The status of an observer, which our country has, allows you to attend high-level meetings with the participation of heads of state and government, foreign ministers.
“Thus we increase our awareness of the activity in the region in the space of this organization,” says Arseny Sivitsky from the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies.
Meanwhile, Belarus is trying to expand cooperation not only with the countries of Asia. In recent years, Lukashenka has been trying to balance between the interests of the West and Russia.
However, the main economic and political partner of Belarus has long been trying to make any strategy of political balancing and independence of military policy unavailable for our country. Political scientist Arseny Sivitsky believes:
“The Kremlin does not fully support this position. For Russia an optimal model would be the reformatting of the Belarusian-Russian relations according to the so-called “Armenian model” — a fairly deep military-political integration, where no strategic decision is taken without Russia.”
Increasing pressure on the official Minsk, including in the area of the creation of a Russian military base in Belarus, can be expected already on the eve of the next presidential election in our country, in 2019-2020, experts from the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies say. Therefore, Lukashenka does not have much time left to take measures for real independence from Russia, and to obtain alternative proposals from the West.
Yuliya Labanava, belsat.eu
Photo on the intro to the video by Mikhail Metzel / TASS / Forum