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Cable sobre la posible sucesión de Lukashenko

El círculo cercano al presidente bielorruso no sabe si se presentará a las elecciones de 2011.- Su hijo puede ser una alternativa para sucederle

ID: 128307
Date: 2007-11-01 15:40:00
Origin: 07MINSK915
Source: Embassy Minsk
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 06MINSK641 07MINSK336
Destination: VZCZCXRO5530
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSK #0915 3051540
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 011540Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MINSK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6612
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1711
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

C O N F I D E N T I A L MINSK 000915

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/01/2017
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PINR, BO
SUBJECT: FORMER PRESIDENTIAL AIDE ON LUKASHENKO AND CRONIES

REF: A. MINSK 336
B. 06 MINSK 641

Classified By: Ambassador Karen Stewart for reason 1.4 (d).

Summary
-------

1. (C) Former Presidential Administration Press Advisor
Aleksandr XXXXXXXXXXXXX told Pol/Econ Chief on October 23 that
Lukashenko has not decided whether to run again in 2011. The
dictator's inner circle does not fear a managed transition,
but still wants to avoid significant steps toward
democratization. End summary.

Lukashenko: "Should I Stay or Should I Go (in 2011)?"
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXXX argued that Lukashenko feared losing power, but
was nonetheless contemplating the installation of his son
Viktor as president in elections scheduled for 2011. For
such a succession to be possible, opined XXXXXXXXXXXXX, Lukashenko
must start now building his son's political credibility. The
first stage in such a plan, according to XXXXXXXXXXXXX, could be
Viktor's emergence as a power player in parliament following
2008 elections. Lukashenko's inner circle would accept a
managed transition with limited political and economic
changes. Even if Viktor forced some insiders to leave power,
they have amassed enough wealth to retire comfortably,
according to XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Support for Better Relations with the West
------------------------------------------

3. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXXX reasoned that several important groups favored
improved relations with the West to ward off increasing
Russian influence. Viktor Lukashenko and his supporters
understand that just like democratic reforms, any real
movement toward union with Russia would strip them of their
privileged position. Belarusian business and financial
elites such as Yuriy Chizh (reftels) and Aleksey Vaganov (ref
B) understand that they cannot compete against Russian
business in open privatizations. In non-transparent deals
they could use their connections with European partners to
buy up property. Finally, Prime Minister Sergey Sidorskiy,
his first deputy Vladimir Semashko and others in the Council
of Ministers such as Energy Minister Aleksandr Ozerets feared
losing influence.

Lukashenko: A Soviet-Style Ruler Sans Mass Executions
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXXX described Lukashenko as a product of his
upbringing -- a Belarusian Soviet peasant turned ideology
officer. Raised in the Soviet Union, Lukashenko naturally
believes that the state rules the people, but as a Belarusian
he wants to develop the country apart from Moscow.
Lukashenko, like any peasant, relies first and foremost on
craftiness to achieve his objectives. As a former Soviet
Army political officer, the dictator understands the use of
ideology as a veneer to mask the true intentions of one's
actions.

5. (C) Lukashenko can make decisions, including harsh ones,
said XXXXXXXXXXXXX, but he knows to stop short of allowing opponents
to tie him to extra-judicial executions. Murder is the only
sin a ruler could commit that the Belarusian people would
never forgive. XXXXXXXXXXXXX said that the MFA had advocated the
release of political prisoner Aleksandr Kozulin in the event
his wife neared death to avoid the backlash likely if Kozulin
was kept from seeing her before she passed away. Lukashenko
has taken no action, however, according to XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

Comment: Keep Driving a Hard Bargain
------------------------------------

6. (C) Lukashenko would like the West to think that he can
always turn toward Russia rather than face continued
isolation. In fact, options for improved relations with
Moscow are limited. Many of those around the dictator seek
to resist Moscow's gravitational pull. Unfortunately,
Lukashenko's Soviet instincts have not allowed his underlings
to appease the West with even minor democratic reforms. If
XXXXXXXXXXXXX's assessment that the dictator may hand over power as
early as 2011 is correct, his son may seek to make new
overtures to the West in order to curb Russia's perceived
power to derail his succession.
STEWART
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