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13 Jan 2015

Belarus did not turn into oligarchy, avoided split in society

MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) - Belarus has not turned into an oligarchy and has avoided the split in the society, publicist and Professor at Radford University (United States) Grigory Ioffe said in an interview with BelTA.

What is happening in Ukraine is a disaster. Of course, this conflict involves some struggle for the spheres of influence. But I think that the problem is that Ukraine, unlike Belarus, has failed to become a state whose ruling elite would act in the interests of the nation. This country is pulled apart by the oligarchic interests, and this has greatly aggravated the cultural divide that has long existed in the Ukrainian society and which has showed in all electoral maps,” Grigory Ioffe said. However, this split should not have gone this far and turned into the fratricidal war,” said the American scholar.

In Belarus, according to him, there are no oligarchic groups that would tear the country apart. The political elite in the country is quite consolidated. "This elite and the President, acting on its behalf, have managed to maintain normal relations with the parties to the conflict. Thanks to this, Minsk has hosted the negotiations, the only efficient ones so far, although they did not feature the main actors. However, they led to a sharp decrease in the intensity of military action. This is the result the so-called Norman format is yet to yield,” said the expert.

Thus, according to Grigory Ioffe, the Minsk format is still the only one that has brought at least an intermediate result. "This peacekeeping role of Belarus can be only welcomed, although the President strongly rejects any involvement in the peace initiatives that were actually devised by him. However, due to the status of Belarus, its quality of life and the ability to maintain good relations with Ukraine and with Russia, Minsk has become the real venue for the negotiations,” said the expert.

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