Belarusians may go to sleep in a quiet Belarus, but wake up in the oppressive embrace of Russia in the near future, former political prisoner and 2010 presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich warned on Facebook on Monday:
“The Kremlin’s longstanding preparation for the takeover of Belarus is close to its decisive phase. They are set to make the process of incorporating our country irreversible in the next six months.”
According to the politician, such haste is driven by the fact that Belarusians may oust their president who will soon face protests in Belarus. However, mass protests repeatedly took place in our country, but Lukashenka’s regime did not falter. What is more, his power gained even more strength. Therefore, there is no revolutionary situation in Belarus at the moment, independent experts believe.
“The people may not be living in high style, but their incomes have grown over the recent years. People are not starving, they are not in dire straits to take to the streets,” political analyst Alyaksandr Klaskouski said.
But Statkevich states the Kremlin will have another ‘plausible’ reason for its military presence in the territory of Belarus, namely the announced deployment of the US division in Poland. In this context, Mikalai Statkevich contacted the embassies of Poland and the US in Minsk:
“That’s not to say one should give up the idea of deploying a US military base [in Poland], but they may simply stress that the base will appear only in response to Russia’s actions in Belarus. In this case, instead of being a threat to Belarus, this base will become a deterrent.”
However, Poland seems to have significant reasons for placing the above base and even more divisions.
“At the moment, the Russian Federation has an enormous lead in military power in the region in comparison to the North Atlantic Alliance. Deploying a US division in Poland will not change much (Russia will still have the advantage ), but it will somewhat strengthen the forces of Poland and Western allies,” Syarhei Pelyasa, a host of Belsat TV program World and Us, said.
If Polish and US politicians ignore Statkevich’s proposals and the Kremlin takes the plunge, the politician will be ready to defend the country. He urged all the patriots to join him if such a need arose, but not every Belarusian is ready to oppose aggression of the ‘brotherly’ nation.
Alyaksandr Klaskouski appears to be more optimistic saying that Russia is not going to annex Belarus, but only to keep it under control:
“To put the ally in place, the Kremlin takes some measures – uses economic levers, psychological pressure, even the elements of information warfare. But it is not beginning to feel like that they are set to take up the reins in Belarus in six months.”
Will the Belarusian side take advantage of such grace time? According to experts, the existential threat to the state still remains real and present concern.