Kremlin May Create Pro-Russian Political Party In Belarus. Local Activists Deny Their Involvement

The Russian edition of The Insider reported that Moscow is working with Belarusian public and political figures to create a new political party tentatively titled “People’s Right”. It will allegedly oppose Alexander Lukashenko and support Belarus’ integration with Russia. However, local activists, whose names were in the party’s list, deny their involvement.

On Friday, 25 December, the Insider journalists published several pieces of correspondence of Head of the Directorate for Inter-Regional Relations and Cultural Contacts with Foreign Countries at the Administration of the President of Russia Vladimir Chernov. According to the documents, to maintain influence in Belarus, Moscow is working out a network of political leaders, structures, a resource base and an information network.

Ivan Logovoy

In this regard, the “Strategy of work in the Republic of Belarus”, as well as the program of the “People’s Right” party is being developed, a potential “asset” is being formed from among experts in Belarus. The Insider states that the documents were prepared in September-October 2020. TUT.BY could not confirm the accuracy of these documents.

The “asset” includes the chairman of the board of the public association for the support of business and entrepreneurship “Assistance and Development” Maxim Leonenkov, founder of the Ferment group of companies Valery Bestolkov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pharmland Ivan Logovoy, Director of the Center for Digital Transformation Maxim Tarasevich, Chairman of the Republican Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shvets, co-founder of the IPM Business School Pavel Daneiko. The article presents the statements of these experts during a round table at the Russian Center for Social Conservative Policy.

Maxim Leonenkov. Photo from personal archive

“We have, in fact, participated in the round table discussion organized by the Social Conservatism Center. The quotes attributed to us have been taken out of context and distorted. But we provide a lot of expert consultations on a daily basis. This is the role of the Republic Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs, especially since the Russian vector is objectively important for business,” Alexander Shvets told TUT.BY.

Besides, he noted that it was “ the Russian side which prompted discussion on the political parties in the future.” Shvets also added that he personally does not know anyone from the Presidential Administration of Russia. Pavel Daneiko, the co-founder of the IPM Business School, also confirmed his participation as an expert in a round table discussion of the Center for Social and Conservative Policy via video link. However, he denied discussing the creation of the party and meeting with anyone from the Presidential Administration of Russia. Other members of the “asset” list could not be reached for comment.