In today’s troubled world one has to pay for stability and security. Lukashenka has stressed the need of modernization and rearmament of the Belarusian army again.
But when the issue is raised in the talks with the major ally (which is also the main sponsor), they usually reach a dead end. Well, who should pay for security in the post-Soviet countries?
According to the Belarusian leader, the CSTO is ‘seriously underestimating’ the situation. Russia does not see the need to strengthen the national armed forces of Belarus and other member countries, which may ‘backfire’, he said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Security Council of Belarus.
“I am not saying that we want, or again, as they say, demand money for some things or events. We all should understand that Belarus is the main outpost, including that of the Russian Federation, in the west,” he stated.
“If Belarus is an independent state, we should rather go it alone.”
“If they arm us, we will owe them. We can say that our army will belong to them in some way. And I wish we had our own strong and independent army.”
“The case is western borders, therefore, they should help.”
“Well, if they are our allies, they should help.”
“I feel bad for Russia. They suffer so much due to their weapons! We’d better not arm themselves so that we could live in peace with all the neighbouring countries. Our president, may he be spared, fights against no one – and thank God! And we do not need Russian guns!” Minskers told Belsat when asked about the necessity of Russia’s financial aid.
Wasting no time, Lukashenka is set to start talks about modernization of the Belarusian army after the presidential elections in Russia.
“The Belarusian side has ordered new planes in Russia, but it has no money to pay for them, hence Lukashenka keeps implying that Russia should give something to him for free,” Russian political analyst Andrei Suzdaltsev said.
“NATO is Russia’s potential enemy in the west. If a conflict happens, it will be of missile-nuclear character. And how can Belarus help in this case?” Suzdaltsev wonders.
In addition to Putin’s distrust in Lukashenka and his asking for money, Moscow has its own reason to turn a deaf ear to the Belarusian president, political commentator Alyaksandr Klaskouski believes.
“According to a number of analysts, Moscow has the following strategy: let the Belarusian army fall apart! Roughly speaking, soon these old planes will stopflying , old tanks will stop moving. And then the Kremlin will say: let us place Russian military bases to protect themselves from this insidious NATO monster,” Klaskouski warns.
Thus, by any reckoning, Belarus should support its own army on its own account – otherwise it will have to keep someone else’s troops.