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Opinions & Interviews

24 May 2018

Lukashenko: International relations today resemble situation before WWI

Lukashenko: International relations today resemble situation before WWI

MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) – Today’s international relations resemble the situation before the First World War, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko said at the international forum “Eastern Europe: In Search of Security for All” on 24 May, BelTA has learned.

“It is time major geopolitical players started to reflect on the status of contemporary international relations, which is very reminiscent of the situation before the First World War. According to FRG Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, back then ‘relations between the continental great powers had been built on sand’ and ‘foreign policy lacked both the will and tools to foster a peaceful balance of interests.’ He described that period as ‘a disturbing tale of the failure of the governing elites and the military, but also of diplomacy’.

Alexander Lukashenko believes that some politicians have already forgotten the horrors of the Second World War, which ended not long ago.

“The great powers that were expected to be reliable guarantors of stability are unable to agree on any major issue today. On the one hand, they talk about the importance of preserving the architecture of modern security. On the other, they do not abandon attempts to circumvent the veto in the UN Security Council,” the president noted.

Alexander Lukashenko expressed his concern over the lack of guarantees against large-scale armed conflict, even if unintentional. In the face of the current global geopolitical and economic transformations in the world, the fundamental contradictions between states are accumulating and aggravating.

“Once again, strategic rivalry and competition between the major powers are placed on the forestage. Once again, even under pretexts, they rely on force, including military one, as one of the ways to advance their interests. Direct and indirect violation of international law and disregard of it become a frightening practice justified by like-for-like actions from opponents,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that sanctions, information confrontation and trade wars between the West and Russia are growing worse. Tensions are fueled between the US, the EU and Russia, with the attempts to involve China. The arms race is gathering pace.

The president noted that the most important feature of today's situation is unpredictability, when even the so-called red lines stop no one any longer.

New "mutated" challenges are emerging alongside with the unprecedented growth of terrorism and the number of regional conflicts, powerful social and economic imbalances, and fundamental demographic and environmental threats. The head of state mentioned electronic and digital methods used in the political struggle and media space, cyber influence which has become a factor of universal vulnerability.

“Even the elite sport, including the Olympic Games which once were a symbol of reconciliation, is becoming a bargaining chip in political games again,” the president said.

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