Why Russia needs new ambassador to Belarus?

Russian Embassy in Minsk / aer-group.ru
Russian Embassy in Minsk / aer-group.ru

Russia has appointed Boris Gryzlov as ambassador to Belarus in order to strengthen control in the Belarusian space and speed up the implementation of promises to hold a referendum on changes to the Constitution.

Like Babich, only he won't quarrel with the authorities

Gryzlov is now 71 years old and his political weight is not as great as it used to be. However, according to the political analyst Valery Karbalevich who spoke with Salidarnasts the Russian embassy in Belarus hasn't yet been headed by such an imposing figure.

Обозначение “хозяйской руки”: зачем России новый посол в Беларуси
Boris Gryzlov / kommersant.ru

"Babich wasn't as significant a figure as Gryzlov, after all. This appointment reveals a certain increase in Belarus' weight in Russia's foreign policy. This is an attempt at "Babich number two," but with a different political style. In other words, he will not polemicize so publicly and sharply with Lukashenka and other officials. Rather, there will be a shadowy influence.

Обозначение “хозяйской руки”: зачем России новый посол в Беларуси
Putin has sent Gryzlov to negotiate with "not an easy negotiator" / Shamil Zhumatov / EPA

"It sounds almost literally, because this official is one of Putin's extremities, if not his "right-hand". Consequently, the time has come for Putin to exercise strict control over some processes. What kind of processes? The conclusion is obvious: the promises made to Moscow," says political analyst Pyotr Kuznetsou.

The expert stresses that Russia was promised a referendum and changes to the Constitution. It can lead to formation of a qualitatively new Belarusian political system. Meanwhile, Russia is going to expand its influence, the expert thinks.

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