It didn’t take long for Kremlin to respond to accusations of political and economic bullying as well as corruption and lying voiced by Lukashenko. On Sunday (!) October 3rd, just two days after president of Belarus spoke in front of more than 100 Russian journalists, Dmitry Medvedev posted a response on his official video blog .
Medvedev, similar to Lukashenko few days earlier, has gone the extra mile to make sure that he makes it clear that this conflict is temporary and is between politicians only. Both presidents tried to remind the audience of the mutual history of the two nations, appeal to the “Great Victory” in the WWII (of course), president Medvedev even has gone as far as calling Russians and Belarusians “one nation”.
However, there is a significant difference in tone when it comes to personal attacks. When Lukashenko sounds more disappointed than critical of his counterpart, barely uses his name when he is talking about Russian involvement in Belarusian domestic issues, and even hints that next time when Kremlin will need support from official Minsk all they need to do is “share” possible negative economic outcomes Belarus will suffer from the West.
Medvedev, in contrast, tries really hard to sound vigorous and frank when he talks about Lukashenko. He starts and ends his speech with praises to the people in both countries but spends four out of seven minutes personally targeting his Belarusian counterpart. Medvedev sounds irritated about the fact that in return for “two billion US dollars in oil subsidies and comparable amount in gas price reductions” that Belarusian government received this year from Russian Federation he gets this kind of behavior from unthankful Lukashenko.
With the war of words between heads of two neighboring countries escalating, it becomes really interesting to watch what the next steps will be as the presidential campaign is picking up steam.