From all the states that are a part of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization the biggest hopes are linked to China’s investments that are, rather, problematic investment resources.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka is going to the summits of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) states, which are going to take place on June 7-8 in Ufa (Russia).
Russia is trying to return the USSR position to it – a world’s second center of power in the world, but it doesn’t have enough recourses and power for that. That is why Moscow is trying to build up weight through involving international organizations into its sphere of interests. Russia is trying to broaden the membership of players of these organizations at the expense of loyal allies, not big economies. Belarus fits for it as any other country does.
Why Lukashenka will go to Ufa without having no relation neither to SCO nor to BRICS? Uladzimir Matskevich, the head of the Board of the International Consortium “EuroBelarus”, philosopher and methodologist told his version to the “EuroBelarus” Information Service.
- Lukashenka has no choice: he goes where he is invited. But what interest do SCO and BRICS pose for Belarus?
- From the very first days of independence Belarus faced a dilemma related to inclusion or non-inclusion to blocks, or neutrality, as offered by Shushkevich. Later on this topic arose several times.
Now, with today’s Lukashenka’s regime, Belarus hasn’t still resolved its dilemma. On the one hand, Belarus wants to preserve the possibility of multiple view policy, or bilateral view policy: in this or that degree get benefits from cooperation both with the West and with the East. On the other hand, it has to somehow orientate on block interests of large neighbors, especially those who are trying to draw it in its sphere of influence.
I think that the invitation to the summits of SCO and BRICS (which Russia is a member of) is Russia’s initiative, since it is trying to involve Belarus in its sphere of influence at a broader scale.
- Belarus isn’t present in SCO and BRICS in any way. Experts believe that Putin has beaten the track for Lukashenka to the summits. What is the Kremlin’s intent?
- If we got sober after the Russia-Ukraine conflict and understand that Russia is trying to retain USSR position, i.e. the second center of power in the world, but it doesn’t have enough recourses and power for that, it is trying to get enough weight and enough power through involving international organizations in the sphere of its influence. On the one hand, they have an alternative represented by “Group of Seven”, “Group of Twenty”, a EU-US variant. New countries that are becoming economically stronger seem very attractive for creation of anti-American, anti-European union. But such union hasn’t been made possible because the biggest actors – China and Brazil – are oriented at the US to this or that degree and are not prone to confrontation with it.
However, Russia continues its attempts. Taking part in international organizations of new big actors at the world arena, Russia is trying to broaden a membership of these actors, but at the expense of its smaller, though loyal allies. Belarus fits for it as any country.
- What place do EU and US give for Belarus?
- Belarus has no special place in the EU-US complex since the country is a part of a new region, a new conglomerate of countries viewed by the EU as the countries of closest neighborhood – the so-called Eastern Partnership. That is why Belarus, being included in the membership of the EaP, represents equal interest for the EU as Ukraine, Moldova, and Caucasian countries.
The other thing is that despite the initiative of the EU the region isn’t reforming, as the EU would like for now; it is being torn in contradictions: we can recall Armenia-Azerbaijan war and tension around Nagorno-Karabakh. Three out of six countries have territories occupied by Russia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Transdniestria in Moldova, Crimea and Donbas in Ukraine. Perhaps it is only Belarus that represents absolutely peaceful and calm territory of all the 6 countries. That is why Belarus has a “special status” in the Eastern Partnership; but at the same time, Belarus is tied to Russia and its policy in the biggest degree.
- Official Minsk is advertising the policy of pragmatism everywhere. But what can Belarus count at the SCO and BRICS summits?
- Belarus cannot expect much from the forthcoming summits. It is in the interests of Belarus to consider these countries as the possible outlets for industry. However, the problems of today’s Belarus are first of all related to the non-competitive Belarusan production, not to the outlets. So Belarusan industry needs investments, renovation, and modernization of all spheres of industry and economy in general in the bigger degree.
We should mention that the Belarusan regime makes attempts to find investment resources not in Europe, not in Russia, but in the countries that have reserves of oil; in the countries that seem to be rich. But even if these countries not only pretend to be rich, but are, actually, rich (China, Brazil), they have few and inflexible investment resources. So we shouldn’t expect investments from these countries. The investments of the countries of G7 and partially of G20 are flexible and can be directed to modernization of manufacture. Attraction of these investments would be much more profitable for Belarus that loans or help of IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Of all the countries that are part of SCO and BRICS the biggest hopes can be linked to the investment potential of China. However, Chinese investments are very specific and are not always profitable for the countries that get them; these are, rather, problematic investment resources.
Lukashenka receives invitation of this kind, but we shouldn’t link big hopes with such kind of summits.