Laurinkus. Signs of Lukashenko’s desperation and the Sword of Damocles lingering above politicians

Mečys Laurinkus
A.Solomino nuotr.

It is far simpler to review the week’s events than to propose how old and new problems should be resolved. The tax model has been a persistent problem. It’s hard to imagine a solution all of society would be satisfied with.

Party programmes are gradually becoming devoid of tax system proposals.

By the way, the same applies to most large pursuits in social, ecological and cultural policy. If proposals do emerge, most of society no longer believes they will be implemented.

Often, the case is that what is promised is not implemented. This is not only the case with taxes. The failures to implement happen not because those proposing them, the party programme authors, are frauds. Rapidly changing circumstances in life increasingly often lead to previously unexpected situations. From natural to social ones.

Truth be told, we do not know whether the coronavirus is natural or man-made, but for two years now, this problem has been a major part of our lives around the world. The pandemic’s waves are hitting the political domain and no one can guess when and how it will end. If it does at all. There are increasingly many apocalyptical theories.

It’s not hard to imagine the eve of any level of governmental elections. What can you offer the public? Organise the struggle with challenges better than your predecessors? Of course, if the challenges are predictable.

Scientists discuss climate change even with potential consequences included, but so far, it is little reflected in politicians’ readiness to organise public life.

After dangerous flooding, German insight and preparedness to warn the public of danger were questioned. I doubt such an anomaly could have been predicted.

We are still unsure what awaits other countries with significant bodies of water, Lithuania included.

Nature is becoming a Sword of Damocles lingering above the heads of politicians around the world. But what of other areas of life seemingly outside the influence of the human will and mind? Unfortunately, it’s something akin to natural challenges. We are close to the point of the global population increasing by a billion and a half. By the way, mostly in China, India and their surroundings.

With rising populations, so do the problems of living space and living necessities. This is an inevitable arena of interstate struggle and conflict.

There are many reasons for wars to begin, but the big confrontations occur over resources, gas, oil pipelines and that, which is called the national interest. The consequences of war are evident – an unconstrained movement of people from conflict zones to more peaceful, wealthier ones. Migration is a sort of flood.

That said, unlike natural anomalies, you can detect them, but there are rare few countries, which are migration targets who prepare for it ahead of time.

Lithuania didn’t prepare either, even if I am unsure if prior governments should be condemned for it. The belief was that there are more straightforward and convenient paths than Lithuania to affluent countries for those who eft their homelands under special conditions. We know what states or more likely, thanks to what states’ efforts, the Lithuanian “path” emerged, but even if it narrows, the situation will not change much.

President G. Nausėda acted wisely by signing the Seimas’ amendments on limiting the migrants’ rights. Otherwise, there would have been a serious conflict between the president and the Seimas, which is something the neighbours, who are closely related to organised migration, are eagerly anticipating.

We shouldn’t forget for even a minute that the migrant influx’s organisers have a simple goal – expenses, irritation and internal discontent among our state institutions.

Of course, we can and we must talk about human rights, but we cannot be blind to the real situation. The Seimas’ amendments are reasonable.

Furthermore, this is a message to the organisers of migrant flows and the migrants themselves that it’s no promenade that awaits them. The amendments will deter some of the illegal migrants, but most will act based on the belief that it can’t be worse than their own country.

When such a problem emerges, the magic word “strategy” is usually brought up. Lithuania has no strategy, its policy on this matter is a one-off and I doubt it will be any different in the future. The reason is understandable – there’s no one to create strategies. So far, the policy is simple – place barbed wire (for some reason lyrically called concertina) in the empty gaps on the border. The barbed wire won’t save us from migration, it will only irritate bears and animal rights activists.

While stalled, serious political and economist reforms are inching forward in Belarus. Those, who are following events more closely, will easily note change even in the regime’s structure. Fundamental reforms don’t necessarily have to be earth-shattering. The things that will change in our neighbouring country might not fully comply with our imagination, they might not even be something we will like. However, it will be a space where it is possible to move, organise and create smart policy. During this difficult period, it is crucial for Lithuania to not shoot itself in the foot with a machine gun.

Lithuanian-Belarusian economic ties have yet to be severed, the main transit artery continues to pulse and so, we need a well thought out policy on how to act next. Obviously, there were, are and will be radical proposals. I believe that we will always be able to strike hard. Dictators have human weaknesses too, particularly when their own fate hangs on the line. A. Lukashenko’s declarations should best be observed live, taking note of his gesticulation, which says more than words. While performing his most recent threats of “terrorists” against Lithuania, there were clear signs of desperation. The mention of “assistance” to Lithuania regarding the illegals, though “not free of charge”, does not at all mean he is asking for money. He can give money to Lithuania himself. The problem is far greater.

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