June 3 – June 9, 2024
Belarus-Russia relations

“Politburo 2.0”: Long-Distance Courier

The situation got worse
“Politburo 2.0”: Long-Distance Courier

When the Kremlin, probably at Putin’s long table, was deciding who to send on a long diplomatic journey (a six-hour flight one way), there wasn’t much choice left. Mishustin is too busy. Lavrov is too old. Medvedev is perpetually drunk. That left Lukashenka. Therefore, the Kremlin sent the Belarusian politician on a diplomatic mission.

On June 6th, during the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin delivered a major report on Russia’s economic successes. Lukashenka could have added quite a bit on his own account. Moreover, he could have presented a special report at a press conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Belarus-Russia integration. However, he was not invited to the forum, unlike last year.

Why? Because Lukashenka is theoretically tired from previous trips (to Mongolia and the Irkutsk region), executed at Putin’s behest. The Belarusian politician now has a special task: to act as a “courier” over long distances, carrying diplomatic messages from the Kremlin to remote “friendly” countries.

From the very start of Lukashenka’s visit to Mongolia, experts and observers wondered: what is the dictator doing in a country with a small economy and a modest population (3.4 million)? What does he need in a country he has never visited before? In a country where trade turnover, by his own admission, is “negligible”? Clearly, Lukashenka never initially intended to go there…

In the Kremlin’s geopolitical schemes, Mongolia plays an insignificant role. For communication with such countries, Lukashenka is perfectly suited. It would be too much honor for Putin to go to Ulan-Bator himself. Sending someone like the governor of the Zabaykalsky Krai, Alexander Osipov, would be insufficient honor for the descendants of Genghis Khan. A figure like Lukashenka is very good in such situations: he can fondly remember Genghis Khan and amuse the local audience.

For a visit to the Irkutsk region, Lukashenka is also the most suitable candidate, and considering logistics, he’s perfect. Neither Putin nor Mishustin needs to fly.

According to a new analytical review by “Minchenko Consulting” — a new “co-opted” member has appeared in “Politburo 2.0.” It is Alexander Lukashenka. In the document subtitled “The Long Winter,” the authors once again analyze changes in the configuration of Russian elites. Overall, the composition of this group has changed little. Lukashenka is a noticeable change. He is qualified as a significant partner of Putin and a communicator on foreign policy issues.

In the near future, new tours of Lukashenka are expected — to Africa and Russian regions.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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