An interview of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Russian television, on August 27th, discusses first the coronavirus, however then primarily worldwide affairs, and particularly considerations of the individuals in Western nations, most particularly concerning what’s now occurring subsequent door to Russia, in Belarus. The interviewer is VGTRK journalist and anchor of Vesti v Subbotu (Information on Saturday) programme Sergei Brilyov. Right here is the portion coping with Belarus:
Sergei Brilyov: Now we have seen quite a few stories in your phone conversations with European leaders. However these stories are normally simply scanty press releases from the Kremlin Press Service. The truth is, you haven’t but publicly shared your view of the scenario intimately. What do you consider the developments in Belarus?
Vladimir Putin: You realize, I believe that now we have proven rather more restraint and neutrality with respect to the occasions in Belarus than many different international locations, each European and American ones, resembling the USA.
In my view, now we have certainly been protecting the developments in Belarus fairly objectively, from each angle, displaying either side. We consider that it’s as much as the Belarusian society and other people themselves to take care of this. Though, actually, we care about what is occurring there [since it’s on their border].
This nation could be very near us and maybe is the closest, each by way of ethnic proximity, the language, the tradition, the non secular in addition to different features. Now we have dozens or most likely tons of of 1000’s, if not tens of millions, of direct household ties with Belarus and shut industrial cooperation. Suffice it to say that, for instance, Belarusian merchandise account for greater than 90 % of the whole agricultural imports on the Russian market.
Sergei Brilyov: You imply the Belarusian merchandise imported to our nation?
Vladimir Putin: Belarusian exports. If we have a look at different industries – for instance, agricultural gear manufacturing – the figures are comparable. Subsequently, in fact, we care about what is occurring there. However it’s nonetheless as much as the Belarusians to take care of this case.
We most actually hope that every one the events can have sufficient frequent sense to achieve an answer in a peaceable manner, with out operating to extremes. In fact, if the individuals take to the streets [in a violent way], it can’t be ignored. Everyone should take heed to them and reply. By the way in which, the President of Belarus mentioned that he’s prepared to contemplate conducting a constitutional reform, adopting a brand new Structure, holding new parliamentary and presidential elections primarily based on the brand new Structure. However the efficient Structure should not be breached. Did you notice that the Constitutional Court docket of Belarus issued a ruling, in line with which it’s completely unacceptable to ascertain supra-constitutional our bodies which aren’t envisaged by the nation’s primary legislation and which try to take over energy. It’s onerous to disagree with this ruling.
Sergei Brilyov: I checked out what they’re writing about Belarus overseas, and infrequently it isn’t about ideology however merely about information. Loads of overseas articles concerning the occasions in Belarus are accompanied by an evidence of what Belarus is and the place it’s situated. It’s because as distinct from Russian residents, many individuals there know little about it. And, in fact, in Russia we bear in mind the occasions not solely after the election but in addition earlier than it, partially, concerning the 33 visitors on the Byelorusochka resort and the Russian residents that had been detained. [He’s referring to this.]
Mr President, who do you suppose acquired into whose entice?
Vladimir Putin: Effectively, now it’s apparent. This was an operation by secret companies. The individuals you talked about had been used with out their data in an effort to transfer them to Belarus. They obtained completely authorized assignments. They had been informed that they need to go to 3rd international locations, to Latin America and the Center East, for completely authorized work. However in actual fact they had been dragged off to Belarus and introduced as a possible assault power in an effort to destabilise the scenario through the election marketing campaign. This had nothing to do with actuality.
Let me repeat that these individuals had been going to work in a 3rd nation. They had been merely lured there, dragged throughout the border. By the way in which, our border guards didn’t allow them to out they usually couldn’t transfer in wherever. However de facto they had been introduced in on faux paperwork.
Sergei Brilyov: Ukrainian secret companies?
Vladimir Putin: This was an operation of Ukrainian secret companies in cooperation with their US colleagues. Now that is identified for certain. Some members on this occasion or observers, well-informed individuals don’t even conceal this now.
Sergei Brilyov: Mr President, I believe I’ve been fortunate in my profession as a journalist. I had three detailed interviews with Alexander Lukashenko however you already know him a lot better, in fact. On this context, I wish to quote what Mr Lukashenko mentioned after one among his phone conversations with you.
Vladimir Putin: Go forward.
Sergei Brilyov: He mentioned that in the case of the army part, now we have a treaty with the Russian Federation within the framework of the Union State and the CSTO, that’s, a Collective Safety Treaty Organisation, and these features appear to be lined by that Treaty. Considerably earlier he mentioned you agreed to offer help to Minsk at his first request.
What is supposed by “these features”?
Vladimir Putin: There is no such thing as a have to hush up something.
Certainly, the Union Treaty, that’s, the Treaty on the Union State, and the Collective Safety Treaty (CSTO) embody articles saying that every one member states of those organisations, together with the Union State, which consists of two states solely – Russia and Belarus, are obliged to assist one another shield their sovereignty, exterior borders and stability. That is precisely what it says.
On this connection, now we have sure obligations in direction of Belarus, and that is how Mr Lukashenko has formulated his query. He mentioned that he would really like us to offer help to him if this could turn out to be mandatory. I replied that Russia would honour all its obligations.
Mr Lukashenko has requested me to create a reserve group of legislation enforcement personnel, and I’ve performed this. However now we have additionally agreed that this group wouldn’t be used until the scenario turns into uncontrollable, when extremist parts – I wish to say this as soon as once more – when the extremist parts, utilizing political slogans as a canopy, overstep the mark and begin plundering the nation, burning autos, homes, banks, making an attempt to grab administration buildings, and so forth.
Throughout our dialog with Mr Lukashenko, we got here to the conclusion that now it isn’t mandatory, and I hope that it’s going to by no means be mandatory to make use of this reserve, which is why we’re not utilizing it.
I wish to say as soon as once more that we proceed from the assumption that every one the present issues in Belarus will probably be settled peacefully, and if any violations are permitted by both facet – the state authorities and the legislation enforcement personnel, or the protesters – in the event that they exceed the framework of the legislation, the legislation will reply to this accordingly. The legislation should be equal for everybody. However talking objectively, I consider that the Belarusian legislation enforcement companies are exercising commendable self-control regardless of every part. Simply check out what is occurring in another international locations.
Sergei Brilyov: Sure, however the first two days had been terrible for many individuals.
Vladimir Putin: You realize what I take into consideration this. Was it not terrible when individuals died in some European international locations almost daily?
Sergei Brilyov: For this reason Lukashenko rejected Macron’s mediation, providing as a substitute to assist him take care of the yellow vest protests.
Vladimir Putin: Is it not terrible when a defenceless particular person is shot within the again and there are his three kids in his automobile?
Sergei Brilyov: Sure, it’s terrible.
Vladimir Putin: Have those that are placing the blame on Belarus and the Belarusian authorities, President Lukashenko, have these individuals condemned these acts? I’ve not heard something about this. Why such discrimination?
This makes me suppose that the difficulty shouldn’t be the present occasions in Belarus, however that some forces wish to see one thing completely different occurring there. They wish to affect these processes and to carry concerning the options that may go well with their political pursuits.