Russian Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Babich has held a press conference in Minsk on March, 18. It was dedicated to ‘the 5th anniversary of Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation’.
As reported earlier, the Russian Embassy refused accreditation to Belsat TV. Major independent media outlets – newspapers Nasha Niva, Narodnaya Volya, popular news portal Tut.by, news agency BelaPAN and European Radio for Belarus decided against taking part in the conference.
The key topic might have been clearly declared, but the attendees apparently showed more interest in the current row between the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mikhail Babich. Although the organizers were trying to keep control over the event and urged the journalists to stick to the subject of the conference, but the Russian envoy has been repeatedly asked questions about the Crimean scenario for Belarus and his position on the Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s recent statements.
“[Telling stories about] preparation of the Crimean scenario and attempts to draw such parallels is an example of a blatant cynical provocation. There is no correlation between the events in Crimea and our relations with Belarus. This is nothing but information subversion.”
Last week the Belarusian Foreign Ministry was outspokenly critical of Mikhail Babich’s interview to the RIA Novosti news agency, in which the diplomat took the liberty to slam Belarus for ‘creating the enemy image’ as part of an election technology aimed at ‘mobilizing voters’. At the same time, according to him, Russia is ready to be a guarantor of the sovereignty of Belarus.
Anatol Glaz, Spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recommended Ambassador Babich to study our country’s history. According to him, the Russian diplomat failed to see the difference between a federal district and an independent state.
In turn, the Russian side called on their Belarusian colleagues for showing more respect for Mr Babich. At today’s conference, he used sharp words, but also expressed hope for the best:
“One could come up with stupidity to stupidity, rudeness to rudeness, but would it really be a sign of superior intelligence or great diplomatic skills? Should we let this row spoil the Belarusian-Russian relations?
It is due to our Belarusian colleagues to explaination what was the reason for their being bothered so much.
I would recall two other things. Alyaksandr Lukashenka once said that many people who could hardly wait to see the two brotherly peoples quarrelling. I want to assure all who are exerting all their efforts to take advantage of the situation that we will not give you the satisfaction.”