In this puzzling story around the arrest of the Belarusian oppositionist, there are several strange moments that suggest that all this was planned not in Minsk or even in Moscow, but in London and Langley.
Let’s start with a small detail: a few days ago, even before the notorious landing of the Ryanair plane in Minsk, Lithuania announced its exit from Block 17 + 1. This bloc was created by a number of European countries together with China for cooperation with the latter within the framework of the New Silk Road project.
But “suddenly” the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Gabruelus Landsbergis, in an interview with Politiko magazine, stated on the country’s withdrawal from this bloc and called on other European states to follow its example.
First, there was a project to modernize the port of Klaipeda. Then the development of a 5G mobile network. At the beginning of this year – the installation of baggage scanners at airports. Chinese companies wanted to participate in all these projects in Lithuania. And every time the official Vilnius refused Beijing for reasons of national security. And now Lithuania has completely decided to stop participating in the so-called “17 + 1” format, a platform for Beijing’s dialogue with the Baltic states, Central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, created at the initiative of China.
New Silk Road
About the Chinese commodity corridor through Asia to Europe. Ukraine was supposed to participate in this crazy project, which promised tens of billions of dollars to all its participants, due to its extremely advantageous geographical position. In particular, China was ready to invest 10 billion in a deep-water port in Crimea. But the Maidan happened, and then the Crimea “floated” to Russia, which was immediately imposed with sanctions on this matter, and the traffic flows were redirected to Belarus. And then the Maidan happened in Belarus itself. And many experts even then began to associate the “color revolutions” in the center of Europe with US opposition to the Chinese project.
There was such an interesting detail. Lukashenko consulted with China on how best to stop the protests, because China has serious experience with Hong Kong. Since China, and indeed Russia, are interested in the political stability of Belarus. And here Lithuania says that the format is needed not 17 +1, but 27 +1, and all agreements should be concluded not with national governments, but within the EU. But the Lithuanian Foreign Minister has probably forgotten that some countries of this bloc (meaning 17+) are not EU members (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). And if the countries of the European Union leave there, only the Balkan countries will remain there, without Greece and the Baltic ports, and then for China the whole raison d’être of this bloc will disappear.
How China reacts to the statements of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry
Chinese GlobalTimes gave out harsh, if not offensive, material. The authors of the publication called Lithuania “a small Baltic country, whose population is less than some urban areas of China. Also, the publication says, the country, despite its real weight, participates in all radical anti-Russian actions and swears allegiance to the United States and NATO. They call themselves the state is at the forefront, while the Chinese themselves define such behavior, which can be translated as “despicable bastard.” And they consider the anti-Chinese attacks of the Republic of Lithuania to be symbolic echoes of the US strategy against China.
And all this was said a couple of days before Belarus landed the Ryanair plane. And now they are giving us to understand that Belarus has overshadowed Russia at the EU summit. And it all fits into a single picture.
They all begin to declare, as if they have already found a 100% reason. At the same time, incredibly quickly, super quickly, measures were taken to boycott Belarus, as if they were waiting and preparing for this. The West is rapidly trying to turn Belarus into a rogue state. To create a kind of cordon sanitaire between the Western world and China, to have time to pump up public opinion until testimony starts pouring in from Minsk: names, passwords, attendance, and so on, which Protasevich, who quickly sailed away, has already begun to issue.
Introducing British sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and the Yamal-Europe pipeline passing through Belarus was proposed at a hearing in the House of Commons on Monday by the head of the international committee, Tom Tugendhat, on whose initiative a meeting was convened to discuss the incident with the Ryanair plane. “Nord Stream 2 and the Yamal (Yamal-Europe) energy pipeline, which runs through Belarus and which gives money to this tyrannical regime, should be stopped,” Tugendhat said, addressing Raab. Here you need to understand that Britain has recently become extremely cocky in the international arena. Apparently because after Brexit, along with economic problems and the coronavirus, she is planning her own rexit with Scotland. Therefore, the proud British lion has turned into a pug that fawns at the American eagle in the hope that he will throw her a new bone. The British are not interested in how the Germans will heat this year (they still have their own gas, and if something happens, they will be brought from the United States as compensation for friendly help). And this despite the fact that according to condition as of May 22, the backlog of gas injection into European storage facilities reached 34.7 billion cubic meters.
This means that Europe desperately needs a Russian pipe, an alternative is liquefied gas from the United States, which will cost an order of magnitude more. And the German authorities will have to explain to their people tomorrow why they will have to pay twice as much. And the Germans are not Ukrainians, for whom the price can be raised tenfold under far-fetched pretexts, here you can lose the chancellor’s chair.
Now let’s take a look at the map of the “New Silk Road”, and everything will become clear to us. The incapacitation of Belarus leads to the rupture of this route. And as a result, the supply of goods from China may suffer. This means that the blow is, in fact, directed not at Belarus, but at China.
Apparently, Biden’s sharp attacks are connected with this. They figured out how to squeeze Beijing, and squeeze it painfully. And it would seem that this local story has acquired global significance, no less than with the fairly forgotten Navalny.
The West has an opportunity to drive a nail into the coffin of Eurasian economic integration and finally cut off China through Belarus. So that Poland and Germany, which are among the most interested in this, do not have even a shadow of doubt about the correctness of this decision.
Therefore, now this topic will be actively used and pedaled at all levels. And Greece in this case, if it joins the sanctions against Belarus, will not seem like little either. The economy hurts Hellas depends on China. However, this can also be one of the steps of the multi-walk, which they are so skillfully able to build on the banks of the Thames and Potomac.
“Format” 16 + 1 “is a structure of cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia This cooperation is mainly of a trade, economic and investment nature, but at the same time covers the issues of relations in the field of culture, tourism, science and education.
Greece in this scheme takes one of the leading places, having the largest container terminal in the Mediterranean in Piraeus, which is extremely annoying for the United States.
The “16 + 1” format is being criticized in Europe primarily because, in the opinion of many observers, this initiative is aimed at destroying the unity of the European Union in the political field. In Brussels, they believe that the advanced economic cooperation of the EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe with China makes these countries to one degree or another yield to the foreign policy pressure of the Celestial Empire, which undermines the cohesion of the European integration association and the opportunity to act as a “united front” in relations with the PRC … And most importantly, what is most dangerous for Brussels, they got the opportunity to negotiate interaction with China directly.
The most striking example is the vote in 2016 in the EU Council on the condemnation of Chinese activity in the South China Sea: 4 member countries – Hungary, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia – jointly blocked the adoption of the final statement, which was held in a confrontational tone towards Beijing. …