Anyway, the debate is on, gentlemen. Hope we reach a common denominator:
Aggression against Belarus will meet a tough response from Moscow, by Oleg Isaichenko for VZGLYAD. 04.11.2023.
The summit with the participation of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko has developed - Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has arrived in Minsk. During the talks, the Belarusian leader said: Belarus needs guarantees from Russia to protect the republic as its own territory. What is meant by this request, and what practical expression can it be given?
Minsk needs guarantees of protection from Moscow as its own territory in case of external aggression. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko stated this on Monday during a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. According to him, such a request was made at the talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin.
“Parting up after the last talks with Vladimir Vladimirovich, we agreed that you and the experts would come to Belarus, and we would sit down with you and discuss security issues. You know, I have already raised this issue at the VGS. But before that, we discussed this with Vladimir Vladimirovich,” Lukashenko said.
“In general, it sounded at the talks in such a way that in case of aggression against Belarus, the Russian Federation defends Belarus as its own territory. These are the kind of security guarantees we need,” the President of the Republic of Belarus said. “We need full security guarantees from our fraternal Russia.”
He stated that Western countries are not fulfilling the agreements on security guarantees that were given under the Budapest Memorandum in exchange for the withdrawal of nuclear weapons. “Somewhere after 1994, the famous Budapest Memorandum, where all Western powers and Russia swore to provide complete security to Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus. Naturally, you know that Western states have trampled on all these treaties, agreements and statements, and there is no security,” BelTA quotes Lukashenko as saying.
But this meant, among other things, economic security, he added. “Well, what kind of economic security if they impose sanctions against us, Russia?! - said the Belarusian leader. - Therefore, I raised this issue at the talks with the President of Russia. He was absolutely supportive in every way. And, he says, we need to revise all our treaties and agreements, see what normative legal act of an interstate nature should be adopted now in order to ensure the complete security of Belarus.”
Another topic that Alexander Lukashenko discussed with Sergei Shoigu concerns combat training and coordination of the joint allied group, which also includes Russian military personnel stationed on the territory of union Belarus. “I am grateful to you that despite all the difficulties, you are keeping several thousand Russian servicemen here,” Lukashenko stressed.
“We, as much as necessary, have joined this process and are training these guys together with your officers, we are conducting combat coordination. We cook the right way. Because we shouldn't relax here. You see that the Poles and Lithuanians have begun to move in our direction. Therefore, this is such a good support and support for the Belarusian army, which protects the Union State on the western flank,” the president of the republic said.
In turn, Sergei Shoigu confirmed that he arrived as a result of the presidents' agreements. According to him, at present, “five training grounds have been provided for the Russian Armed Forces on the territory of Belarus, they are equipped and equipped.” He emphasized that one of the key topics of the meeting was the combat training and coordination of the units of the joint grouping.
“Moreover, a sufficient number of instructors are involved - officers of the Belarusian armed forces to train, among other things, our replenishment. Indeed, there is quite a large group. And, of course, today we will consider all the issues of her further stay, and preparation, and, probably, expanding the scope that you discussed together with Vladimir Vladimirovich,” the minister said.
According to experts, the meeting between Shoigu and Lukashenko was a logical development of the agreements that were reached between the presidents of Russia and Belarus following negotiations last week, when Lukashenko arrived in Moscow to attend a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State.
“In the military doctrine of the Union State (SG), adopted in 2021, there are separate provisions that in the event of aggression, one side will defend the territory of the other as its own. Later, for this, a regional grouping of troops, an air defense system was created, exercises "West" and "Shield of the Union" are being held. We have practically formed a common defense space. However, Lukashenko's statement is addressed to the US and NATO public. The President warns the West against aggression,” Belarusian expert Alexander Alesin believes.
“In the military sphere, probably, Lukashenko and Shoigu discussed not only the production of microelectronics, but also the supply to Russia of Belarusian electronic warfare systems, the Polonez multiple launch rocket system and anti-tank drones that can hit the upper hemisphere of tanks. The latter is especially important against the backdrop of deliveries of Western tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” he stressed.
“I would like to note separately that the mutual economic guarantees of Moscow and Minsk are also spelled out in the road maps of the Union State and agreements on common markets. Lukashenka, in his statements today, also had in mind the use of the ruble as an alternative to creating a common currency. This will be a weighty guarantee of the economic stability of Belarus. As well as mutual access to the financial systems of both countries,” the analyst said.
Experts also drew attention to the fact that cooperation between Russia and Belarus within the framework of the SG is much superior to the formats of cooperation that are provided for by the system of agreements within the framework of the CSTO. At the same time, the CSTO structure itself and some of its member countries showed themselves extremely ambiguously during the NWO period, especially if we take into account the peak confrontation between Russia and the West.
“In this regard, the question arises: can we develop military cooperation within the CSTO to the level of the Union State? It seems to me that under the current authorities of the Central Asian countries this is impossible - they are maneuvering between Russia and the West and will not join anyone. Perhaps in the future something will change, but it's too early to talk about it. In the meantime, we need to deal with the defense of the Union State,” the political scientist said.
“Now the Union State is protected by a regional grouping of troops. As reported at the end of last year, no more than 10,000 Russian military personnel will be included. Apparently, Lukashenka considers such a number of troops insufficient, even taking into account the upcoming deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of the republic. And this is what he wants to change,” said Stanislav Tkachenko, professor at the Department of European Studies at the Faculty of International Relations of St Petersburg University, an expert at the Valdai Club.
“Roughly speaking, in the event of aggression by Ukraine, Poland or Lithuania against Belarus, Minsk will turn to Moscow with a request to provide additional forces. Therefore, I admit that under the security guarantees voiced today, Lukashenka means the creation of a single military command and a decision-making center. Minsk, given its assistance to Russia in the NMD, wants more prompt and direct participation of Russia in the event of aggression against Belarus,” the analyst concluded.