The Guardian February 7, 2001


The Kostunica trick for Belarus?

The Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, has accused the Belarus 
mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 
of plotting with the opposition against him ahead of the September 
presidential elections.

In a radio interview Lukashenko dismissed talk of a popular "revolution" in 
Belarus similar to that organised in Yugoslavia to overthrow Milosevic.

"Under the guise of observers they (the West) want to found a corps of 
fighters on the principle of distributing bread by day and taking their 
weapons from under their beds at night", Lukashenko said.

Hans-Georg Wiek, head of the OSCE advisory and monitoring group in Belarus 
said: "We are in favour of democratic procedures and institutions, but the 
result is something for the population to decide in free and fair 
elections". Such modesty from an organisation which plans to invite 14,000 
observers to Belarus for the presidential elections. The population of 
Belarus is 10.3 million.

Needless to say, the OSCE did not send any observers to oversee the US 
presidential elections which were won by fraud.

Lukashenko expressed outrage at suggestions by Western observers that 
Belarus could see massive demonstrations similar to those in Belgrade.

"I started to react when Western observers talked of a Kostunica scenario, 
that soon Belarus will go the way of the Balkans. Am I to wait until they 
start bombing us with so-called depleted uranium?" he asked.

Why is the west so keen to see a pliant, pro-western, pro-NATO leader in 
Belarus?

Strategic location

Belarus does not have oil deposits or any mineral wealth. The answer is to 
be found in the strategic location of Belarus.

Belarus is bordered in the west by Poland (eager to accept NATO nuclear 
weapons), Latvia and Lithuania to the north (also in the same eager-to-
please NATO category), and by Ukraine and Russia to the south and east.

In military terms Belarus is a very attractive prize. It has tracking 
stations that can follow the movement of NATO nuclear submarines. It is the 
only tracking station in the former territory of the Soviet Union.

Another reason for the west to go all out to create a client state of 
Belarus is to stop moves to reunify Russia and Belarus. It is a very 
popular move among the people of Russia and Belarus but for the West, it 
creates a very dangerous precedent which might be followed by the Ukraine, 
Armenia and other of the former Republics of the Soviet Union.

A Belarus brought under NATO control would further isolate and surround 
Russia. It is the principle objective of NATO to control the whole of the 
EurAsian land mass from Minsk to Vladivostock.

A "champion of democracy" who is likely to raise her voice about democracy 
in Belarus is the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. She is 
to take charge of the superbly misnamed National Endowment for Democracy to 
"bolster democratisation around the world".

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