On 8 March 2021, video titled “Lukashenka Goldmine” was published in NEXTA’s YouTube channel. The documentary follows a similar investigative reporting style to Aleksey Navalnyy ‘s documentary regarding Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, his palace on the black Sea coast and cites Lukashenka’s involvement in corruption schemes. It also suggests that Lukashenka accepts expensive gifts from some Belarusian and Russian businessmen in exchange for business privileges.
During 22 February 2021 Sochi meeting between Putin and Lukashenka, Putin highlighted Russia ‘s importance for Belarus’ economy, stating that Minsk relies on Moscow for 50 percent of its trade and Russia remains the main investor in Belarus’ economy with approx. 4 billion EUR invested annually. Putin’s statement combined with NEXTA documentary provide ample material for below themes.
- Putin and his Russian oligarchs, determined to expand their empire, shamelessly bribe leading members of the Belarusian Government for business favors and deals to ensure money and profit flows in to Russian pockets while hard-working Belarusian business owners struggle just to keep their businesses open under Belarus’ struggling economy.
- Sovereignty is the most basic and fundamental aspect of any independent nation, and for Belarus, it is even more important than any Russian partnership. Belarusians work hard to support Belarusian business, and Russian oligarchs enriched by the “favor of tsar” Putin should not be able to bribe their way into business deals that obscenely reward corrupt leaders of Belarus’ regime and only disadvantage normal, working Belarusians.
- Putin, not the Russian people, is Lukashenka’s main financer and investor, and Putin willingly funds Lukashenka ‘s palaces, expensive cars, fancy watches, etc. -he has enabled and encouraged Lukashenka ‘s corrupt wealth built on the sacrifices of ordinary Belarusians.
- If Russian businessmen want to do business in Belarus, they are welcome to do it fairly, openly, and not to the disadvantage of Belarusian workers and business owners in the process.
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InformNapalm Partner in Lithuania: Res Publica – Civic Resilience Center.