Lukashenko Tells His Future

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko revealed his political future at a press conference yesterday. He does not want to be president of Russia (or the Union State), he claimed, but he expects to rule his own country for a long time to come. In his appearance before the chief editors of the Belarusian press, he continued the theme he spoke on at the Cathedral of the Holt Spirit in Minsk on Easter Day, that is, friendship with Russia.

"I want them to know in Russia that the Belarusian people never was and never will be a traitor," he said, adding, "We will never let the tanks through to Moscow."

Two months ago, Lukashenko declared that Minsk's political orientation toward Moscow had been a mistake and that he would cooperate "with the demon and the devil in the West" to guarantee his country's energy supply. He was not warmly received into the embrace of the West, however. Nonetheless, after chiding Gazprom for monopolizing the natural gas market yesterday, Lukashenko stated that the Belarusian economy is "55 percent oriented toward the European Union" and drawing the country toward "normal relations" with Western countries.

Lukashenko denied that he intended his son Viktor, who is his advisor and a member of the country's Security Council, to succeed him. He added that his second son will not succeed him either, but he is preparing his third son, when he grows up. It can be assumed from his words that Lukashenko has a small third son.