At some point, as background noise, there was some news read out on the radio. After the segment about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, NordStream 2 and possible EU sanctions the taxi driver shook his head and said thoughtfully: "Yeah, mommy is stuck…"
"What mommy?" I inquired.
"What mommy?" asked the taxi driver. "That same one, Angela Merkel. You know why Navalny was surrendered to Germany? Let me explain." And then, for a quarter of an hour, the taxi driver presented a coherent theory of what happened, worthy of study at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which answered all the questions that had been bothering me.
This is how it all came down.
At the beginning of August everybody was preparing for the elections in Belarus—Belarus itself, as well as Russia and countries in the EU. It was an exciting game in which everybody placed bets on their own candidate. But I must immediately warn you that what we were observing was just the visible part of the iceberg, while the underwater currents were known only to a few.
Moscow and Minsk were demonstratively smashing dishes, shouting at each other and pulling each other by the hair, creating the illusion of a complete break in relations. This was as intended!