NATO need a “non-aligned” Belarus
In October not too noticeable (or rather, almost imperceptibly), there were two events related to the Republic of Belarus. One of them shows the role that defined the West this country, and the other where the Belarusian leadership casts a gaze.
First, in the beginning of the month Jamestown Foundation (Jamestown Foundation) revealed to the world report Glenn Howard with the speaker called “the Increasing importance of Belarus in the Baltic flank of NATO.” It would seem, is unthinkable – the Alliance includes Belarus in their expansion plans to the East! However, it is, and this is not dismissive. NATO strategists are satisfied with the present position of the Belarusian authorities towards Russia and towards the West.
Secondly, 7-9 October in Minsk hosted the forum “Minsk dialogue” – “Europe on the brink: the view from Minsk”, which brought together many speakers who gladly talked about the “containment of Russia” and the lack of pressure on the state with which Belarus is in several unions.
Apparently, in Minsk found it sufficient that the Russian side also presented in “dialogue” with prosecutors, Russia; Minsk prides itself as a negotiation platform, where the parties exchange opinions, and along the way, Western analysts (most of them associated with the CIA and the Pentagon) praised Belarus as a “donor safety”. Through the efforts of the foreign Ministry of Belarus in the Union with the Russian state, erected a stage, where performers are recognized masters of the anti-Russian tactics and strategy. If you consider that “Minsk dialogue,” and official support, and Belarusian opposition media, one gets the impression that everyone is happy what is happening.
Certainly is. And Russia must be happy too – to create an atmosphere of exchange in Minsk called the Institute of Europe of the RAS, Foundation for public diplomacy support. A. M. Gorchakov, the foreign policy Association studies. A. A. Gromyko… Without them, the meeting of the American “analysts in uniform,” whose biography I refer to the intelligence and military departments of the USA, would look good and standards are met.
The question remains: why Russian experts took part in the forum “Minsk dialogue” along with expelled from Russia of USAID or the Jamestown Foundation? Jamestown Foundation was represented in Minsk by the author of the report “increasing the value” of Belarus to NATO Glen Howard (Glen Howard), who in the 2000’s, along with Brzezinski engaged in the Caucasus, shaking the Russian revolution. And the line “Minsk dialogue” at the event, October 7-9, was completely certain.
The former commander of the US army in Europe General Ben Hodges (Benjamin Frederick “Ben” Hodges), speaking on behalf of the American Center for European policy analysis (Center for European Policy Analysis, SULPHUR), said that “from the idea of the Union state… anything good for Belarus will not work”. Big interview with Hodges published at the end of September the portal TUT.BY; the content of the interview resonated with the report of Glenn Howard. This means that the position of the West on Belarus agreed.
A year ago this position was identified by the former assistant Secretary of state for European and Eurasian Uess Mitchell, speaking at an event at the Atlantic Council (Atlantic Council): “Today, the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the bordering countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia and even Belarus, is the most reliable Bastion that defends against Russian neo-imperialism”.
Today the words of the “Russian neo-imperialism” are heard in Minsk ordinary. Belarus in “safe Bastion” prepared for the mission with which the country’s leadership to successfully cope: I think so, and Howard of the Jamestown Foundation, and Hodges in SULFUR, and at RAND, where promoting the idea of militarization of Europe to “deter Russia”, if ally Belarus suddenly decides to attack Lithuania, for example.
Report Glenn Howard on items paints and the mission of Belarus and NATO’s actions (to “help the state become a bulwark against Russian neo-imperialism”). Credit to Alexander Lukashenko, the Jamestown Foundation puts it:
– refusal to recognize Crimea as part of Russia;
– refusal to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia;
– “indirect support” of Ukraine’s accession to NATO (June 1, 2018, the President stated that he would prefer it if Ukraine joined NATO, and was captured by nationalism and became a “gangster state, where all against all”);
– disagreement on a Russian military base in the country (“almost overnight Belarus was the center of attention as a strategically important buffer state between NATO and Russia”);
unprecedented steps to reduce the scale of joint military exercises “West–2017”;
– observation of the exercises “West–2017” separately from Putin;
– invitation to observe the military exercise “Zapad–2017” military experts from seven countries, five of which are members of NATO;
– repeated rejection of offers of Moscow on creation of the airbase in Belarus (“We need planes, not the base,” – said the President of the Republic of Belarus);
– the desire to stay away from Moscow and to strengthen economic ties with the EU;
– development of cooperation with China multi-purpose missile system “Polonaise”, “capable of hitting the suburbs of Moscow from Vitebsk and Vilnius, depending on the threats”;
– the supply of “Polonaises” to Azerbaijan.
the adoption of new military doctrine “implicitly aimed at deterring Russian hybrid war”;
– the improvement of relations with Latvia, Estonia and Poland with an eye on military cooperation;
– limitation of cooperation with Russia in the sphere of defense (“Belarus retains the highest authority to decide whether to use force against any foreign offenders”);
– significant improvement in Belarusian-American relations, especially after March 28, 2016, when he arrived in Belarus U.S. assistant Secretary of state Michael carpenter “single-handedly restored the bilateral military relations” (military-to-military relations);
– Belarusian “bezviz” – the abolition of the visa regime for 80 countries, “including the United States, and the majority of their NATO allies in the region”;
– close relationship with Ukraine and supplies to Ukraine are critical of oil (bought from Russia).
Perhaps some of these “achievements” from the point of view of the Belarusian leaders are not what they seen to the West. However, the American “analysts in uniform” appreciate them. Moreover, from their point of view, Lukashenko’s position is fully consistent with the location that is specified for Belarus in anti-Russian “Bastion”.
“Remaining free from Russian land forces, Belarus enhances the security of Poland and Lithuania and NATO allows to adequately protect Suvalki corridor, giving NATO greater defensive depth along its periphery. Remaining free from the Russian army and the de facto non-aligned movement, Belarus serves the purpose of NATO, even without joining the Alliance. Recently at an event organized by the Atlantic Council in Washington, Deputy foreign Minister of Belarus Oleg Kravchenko noted that his country wants to be friends with everyone, including NATO”, – is spoken in the report of the Jamestown Foundation.
At the same time the report levels criticism :
– Lithuania which is its attacks on the Belarusian NPP in Ostrovets limits the interaction between Minsk and NATO and “preclude any possibility for Belarus to develop even a modest relationship with the Alliance”;
– the Belarusian opposition, which “often publish misleading information about the country and darken the understanding of the West, the role of Belarus”;
in the West politicians who are “simplistic” view Belarus as Russia’s ally.
Preliminary result. The first plan for the United States and NATO in their policy towards Belarus is now not “promoting democracy” and “non-aligned Belarus”, which drifts in the direction of rapprochement with the Alliance, while maintaining close ties with Russia, but not developing with Moscow military cooperation within the framework of the Union state and the CSTO. Report by the Jamestown Foundation with Alyaksandr Lukashenka removed the label of “Europe’s last dictator” – he defines the role of the Belarusian Tito.
“Despite their authoritarian rule, President Lukashenko has increasingly become a Belarusian version of the Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito, who is determined to challenge Putin, as well as Tito defied Stalin, and to maintain a level of sovereignty and independence, like the former Yugoslav leader,” writes Howard. (We are talking about the refusal of the Communist party of Yugoslavia from the Balkan Federation, and that in 1949 the Soviet Union broke the Treaty of friendship, mutual assistance and postwar cooperation between the USSR and Yugoslavia).
Thus, the West offered Belarus not “Ukrainian” and “Yugoslav” scenario: make Lukashenka a new Tito, policy-oriented non-aligned – in this case, the non-aligned to the Russian initiatives in the field of defense and integration.Arina Tsukanov