MOSCOW, 6 December (BelTA) – Minsk will be needed as a platform for European security dialogue, since the West understands that Aleksandr Lukashenko is the real and uncontested leader of Belarus, Igor Korotchenko, a military expert and Editor-in-Chief of the Russian magazine Natsionalnaya Oborona [national defense] said at a round table in Moscow on 6 December, BelTA has learned.
Igor Korotchenko stressed that Minsk should be viewed as an alternative to Helsinki when it comes to hosting major regional forums on European security and adopting the most significant political initiatives. “De facto the West has already recognized President Aleksandr Lukashenko as the legitimate leader of Belarus, it remains to be done de jure, and this will happen. Merkel's very phone call to Lukashenko shows that the West views him as a real and single leader of the Republic of Belarus. Therefore, I emphasize once again, Minsk will be in demand no less than Helsinki as a platform for dialogue, negotiations, major European security initiatives,” the expert said.
He went on saying that both Moscow and Minsk are committed to cooperation in those areas where Western partners are ready for such contacts. “Unfortunately, there are no more illusions about NATO, therefore, all contacts with the bloc were put on hold,” he stated. He added that the prospects are much better for bilateral contacts with individual European countries, especially with the countries of old Europe, which are the most sensible and responsible.