“Who needs Lukashenka?” - Yerevan responds to Belarusian President's anti-Armenian statement
President Lukashenka’s criticism of Armenia
Another scandalous statement by the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka has become the main topic of discussions in Armenia. His words – “Armenia has nowhere to run. Do you think anyone cares about them?” were discussed both on social media and in parliament. Press secretary of the Foreign Ministry Vahan Hunanyan also commented on it:
“We are convinced that the peculiar geopolitical analysis of the President of Belarus aims to serve, first of all, his own domestic political agenda and has nothing to do with Armenia and its foreign policy”.
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Lukashenka: “They have already seen it”
“Armenia has nowhere to run. Do you think anyone cares about them? They have already seen it… Nikol Vovayevich [Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia] saw it [meaning the defeat in the war in Karabakh].”
This was the answer of the President of Belarus to a question about the prospects for the Russia-Belarus union state and the accession of other countries of the former USSR to it in an interview with Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov.
“Azerbaijan is out of this cohort, we made a lot of mistakes there. This is a separate conversation. And, of course, Turkey very seriously supports Azerbaijan. Roads, gas, oil go through Turkey… And Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, due to their economic necessity, I think that they will also join”, Alexander Lukashenka said.
“Disservice to Russia” – discussion in parliament
A member of the ruling Civil Contract faction, Vagharshak Hakobyan, said that the statements of the President of Belarus are “inadmissible” and are not appropriate for the head of state:
“The leader of the partner state [Armenia and Belarus are members of the Eurasian Economic Union and the military bloc of the Collective Security Treaty Organization operating under the auspices of Russia] has no right to express such thoughts to other partner countries. And I want to remind you who needed Armenia during the recent events in Kazakhstan. I am sure that Mr. Lukashenka understands better than anyone who needs the Republic of Armenia”.
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Another member of the ruling party, deputy Rustam Bakoyan also commented on the matter:
“Who needs Lukashenka? I think this rhetorical question was asked by his people. And the processes that took place in this country are a clear assessment of the stage of his reign, the state that he kept his country in and what came of it.
According to another member of the ruling party, Hovik Agazaryan, “Lukashenko and Margarita Simonyan [editor-in-chief of the Russian RT agency] are doing the Russian authorities a disservice by such actions”.
The Union State of Russia-Belarus: “You Can’t Survive Alone”
Russia and Belarus signed an agreement on the creation of a union state back in 1999. It provides for unified legislation and parliament, a common currency and state symbols.
After the presidential elections in Belarus in 2020, the results of which caused massive protest, Russia began to speed up negotiations on the formation of a union state. Negotiations on integration intensified even more after Lukashenka managed to suppress protests against his power.
In the begining of 2022, Lukashenka again made a statement about the union state:
“I must tell you that this year will not be easy. The world will change in a major way. The world will change in terms of uniting peoples and states into unions. It will not only be difficult for states like us to survive alone, it will be impossible”.
And a few days after that, speaking at the CSTO online summit, Lukashenka said that this military bloc should be strengthened without looking at the West or individual Western states:
“If we keep looking around, we will break our necks. Therefore, you need to attend to your own issues and see your own safety. When they have the slightest problem, they do not think about democracy, do not look back at us, but act in accordance with their own interests. We need to take that into account too”.
According to political observer Hakob Badalyan, Armenian society is inspired by sharp responses in the spirit of “Lukashenko, who are you? We are the masters of our country”. But he believes that Armenia gave rise to statements similar to Lukashenka’s attack:
“Let’s admit that the course of our country over the past three decades, unfortunately, has given and is giving Lukashenka or Lukashenkas the opportunity to say what they say”.
Badalyan says that nothing will change with the answers given to Lukashenka’s statement, instead of words, things in the country should be put in order, only this will change the image of Armenia, its potential and attitude towards it.
“Let’s treat not treat our state as a “laid table” that lacks a toastmaster, but as a complex organism in need of functional harmonization”.
According to Hakob Badalyan, “Lukashenko is here today, he will be gone tomorrow”, and in Armenia they should understand what is happening with the country now and what it should be like tomorrow.