Russia and NATO: Belarus on the fault line

U.S. military from NATO’s new tank battalion are already in Poland; U.S. and Polish forces will participate in a large exercise at the end of January. Hundreds of U.S. tanks, trucks and other military equipment arrived by ship in Germany to be transported by rail and road to a number of countries, including Poland. Against whom the operation is directed? Is a threat to the security of Belarus?

“These tanks are moving to the Belarusian border. From the perspective of western generals, Belarus is a appendage as it is in the military and political union with Russia. In view of the current confrontation between NATO and Russia, Belarus is also seen as a potential hostile,” Andrey Parotnikau, the head of the project Belarus Security Blog, believes.

“Moscow made it clear that it would like to build up its military presence in Belarus by deploying their military airbase there. Russia would like to have not only the airbase, but other military facilities in Belarus,” the expert says.

Russia considers Belarus’s refusal to deploy its airbase ‘not final’ and ‘temporary’, Parotnikau told Belsat TV.

“In 2017, Belarus will have tod pay $5 bn public debt, but the liquidity of its foreign exchange reserves amounts to $2.3 bn. In practice, Belarus is a bankrupt country. 80% of external financial aid is given by Russia. And it is up to her to decide whether we will be able to settle our debts,” he says.

According to Parotnikau, in the next 12 months Russia will be trying to cause economic problems to the Belarusian authorities and challenge them at the information and securuty service level.

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