Date: 29 September 2020

Putin and Naryshkin Resort to Radical Anti-Western Rhetoric

While the Kremlin insists on its backing for Lukashenko and paints Western provocations and pressure, Lukashenko announced a fresh batch of concessions in spheres like economy and integration, once the military is already on the table. Senior Russian officials, notably the head of intelligence services, are delivering somewhat disturbing comments, with Moscow accusing the West of a number of provocations in what might prepare its ground for new and bold moves –– this time in Belarus.


Sergey Naryshkin, director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said the United States plans to insert what he named as “extremist elements,” with some activists undergoing training in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltic nations. Alleged provocateurs who were purportedly trained by Western intelligence services and might stage a color revolution are not a new theme in the Kremlin’s rhetoric. There are yet two interesting elements in Naryshkin’s words: strong anti-U.S. accusations – as he lambasted the Department of State, the CIA, and the Pentagon – and his mentioning of religious matters. The head of Russian intelligence service added that those against Belarusian officials – now in exile – are seeking to invent a plot against the Roman Catholic Church. Sergey Naryshkin also accused the U.S. of interference in the religious situation in Belarus. Any “extreme provocation” staged against Catholic priests would only -incite anti-government moods amongst the Catholics in Belarus and involve the Holy See into its turmoil. Still on the same day, Putin said that Belarus was facing “unprecedented external pressure” since the August election. In televised remarks, the Russian resident addressed the participants of the Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions. Alexander Lukashenko delivered a similar speech. He said his country is ready to launch talks with Russia on boosting economic security, which – following what the Belarusian ambassador to Russia added about resumed talks on roadmaps for deeper Belarusian integration within the union state – might bring further Minsk’s concessions.

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TAGS: migration crisis, NATO, Belarus, Russia


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