NATO is open for cooperation with Belarus and sees positive changes in our country, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said answering a Belsat TV journalist’s question at the NATO summit in Warsaw.
“Over the past years there have been different things in the relations between Europe-NATO and Belarus, but by the moment, the situation has changed. We see that Minsk is interested in cooperation, and we are making advances. And Poland wants to be in the role of an intermediary which would be bringing Belarus closer to the cooperation with NATO,” Witold Waszczykowski said.
Officially, our country, which is sandwiched between NATO and Russia, is acting rather like a peacemaker in the increasingly strained relations between the West and the East, not like a military ally of the Kremlin. On the eve of the Warsaw Summit, the Belarusian Foreign Minister said that Belarus does not consider the increase of NATO troops close to eastern borders as a threat.
“We can understand the logic of our partners, why they are doing it. We can understand, but not support such steps. We do not consider these steps as a direct threat to our security. We see them as certain challenges in a certain field, to which we also need to respond in a certain way,” Uladzimir Makey said.
Moreover, Minsk expressed its readiness to normalize relations with the United States.
“If there is a good will of the United States, we will solve all kinds of problems,” president Alyaksandr Lukashenka told U.S. Charge d’Affaires Scott Rauland.
At the same time, Minsk is not able to significantly improve relations with the West without taking into account the interests of the Kremlin: the hands are literally tied with many Belarusian-Russian military and political agreements and our country’s total economic dependence on the eastern neighbor, political analyst Pavel Usau says. And he adds: the Kremlin might make Belarus cooperate only with him.
“It may not be limited to the deployment of an airbase. And other troops may appear in belaru, as well as air defense systems – for example, Iskanders,” he stresses.
And such step would pose a direct threat not only to Poland, but to NATO as a whole.