Europe's Mugabe only dared to act in this way because, 10 days before the election, he unexpectedly secured a deal with Russia. This once again gives him subsidised oil, which he can sell on at a profit. For his part, he agreed the terms of a "single economic space" with Russia and Kazakhstan.Yet an interesting perspective was offered today by the Financial Times which claims that economic liberalisation will happen in Belarus in 2011, one reason perhaps why despite condemnations there is not much more from the West and why Lukashenko has been able to clamp down on what he calls "senseless democracy".
Before that, the boot had been on the other foot. Russia seemed to have had enough of Lukashenko: a Russian TV channel owned by Gazprom even aired a four-part series attacking him as a corrupt godfather.
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Lukashenko and "The Chinese Model".
One reason why Lukashenko was able to claim a 79% re-election victory and ignore the EU's demands for a free and fair election, even though he was offered $3bn by Polish and German ministers if he did not tamper with election results, is said to have been the deal he made with Russia,