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Opinions & Interviews

12 Mar 2014

Belarus’ experience of building an independent state is invaluable for Ukraine

Belarus’ experience of building an independent state is invaluable for Ukraine

MINSK, 12 March (BelTA) – Belarus has the invaluable experience of building an independent state and the experience can be very handy for Ukraine in the present situation, BelTA learned from Sergei Musiyenko, head of the analytical center EcooM.

Sergei Musiyenko reminded that in its time Belarus faced problems similar to the ones Ukraine is facing now. Alexander Lukashenko was elected president to rule the country in a complicated situation. “In our time we faced similar problems: an unravelling economy, broken manufacturing ties, no clear-cut government system, some distrust in civil servants on the nation’s part, and the shortage of money to develop the country. All of these now exist in Ukraine, too,” noted the expert.

“Belarus — especially Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko — has the invaluable experience of building an independent state on ruins of the Soviet empire. The experience is unique and could be useful for Ukraine,” the political analyst is convinced. “The Belarusian nation is used to evaluating politicians by their deeds. If we keep it in mind, then Alexander Lukashenko is truly the man, whose opinion is valuable and deserves close attention, because it relies on real deeds. Twenty years of our history has proven it”.

Yet the expert was baffled as to what Ukrainian politicians have been doing for these 20 years. “For 20 years Ukraine has endured the lack of real deeds veiled by an abundance of words about a great future. Over the course of the 20 years we have seen the country’s political elite stay independent from their people,” he remarked.

According to Sergei Musiyenko, he has a hard time trying to imagine what may have been done to bring the country so low, the country that was named the best territory for an independent state at the moment of the Soviet Union’s collapse. The country met several requirements: access to the sea, qualified workforce, energy resources of its own, and other things. “We, the Belarusians, can really evaluate what we could have achieved provided we had Ukraine’s starting conditions,” said the expert.

Sergei Musiyenko mentioned that earlier on 12 March the Belarus president said as a joke that Belarus could take over the management of Ukraine and could turn the country into a nice place to live if Ukrainian politicians do not know what to do. “Some people may accept the statement as a joke but it seems to me it was a statement made by someone, who keeps his word. Because he relies on experience, years of hard labor and difficult efforts to bring about what we have around us now: material wellbeing and a stable country. Besides, he will not flee if threatened with accounts in Western banks,” remarked Sergei Musiyenko.

The political analyst also wondered why Ukraine’s political leadership fails to act upon Belarus’ experience and constantly seeks happiness in the West. “A lop-sided pro-Western vector can be seen in Ukraine. They beseech the West in their quest for an independent state. If so, they should ask Lithuania or Latvia about how that turns out. The elite should remember and understand where they live and for whom they work,” said the expert.

“Ukrainians are no strangers to us. We offer friendship to Ukraine. We offer managerial, economic aid and the development of trade and economic ties. Those are much more valuable than the loans promised by the West. You can butter your bread with loans but what will you use to repay the loans? Sometimes loans are bundled with special, political conditions,” he said. In his opinion, Belarus and Ukraine could exploit the trade and economic potential to achieve more benefits. “There is a number of economic, infrastructural, energy, and transport considerations that will benefit our nations. And we know how it can be achieved. Instead of loans with political ‘options’ we offer real aid, workload for enterprises and ports. If someone thinks that resolving social problems is nothing but populism, I invite them to examine the real care for people and for the security of the state in Belarus,” stressed the head of the analytical center EcooM.

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