The Minister of Defense of Russia has arrived in Belarus and once again spoken about NATO’s threat for Russia, and therefore to Belarus.
Sergei Shoigu arrived in Minsk to take part in meeting of the Ministries of Defense of Belarus and Russia. He said that the plans of the Polish government to permanently deploy a division of the US armed forces are counterproductive and not conducive to maintaining stability and strengthening regional security. In addition, Shoigu noted that he was concerned about the NATO military drill, which is getting even closer to Russia. Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defense of Russia:
“NATO’s military activity near our borders has reached unheard of levels since the Cold War. The Alliance’s policy is aimed at strengthening its advanced military presence on the eastern flank. ”
According to Shoigu, Russia is preparing an answer to NATO, however, it is not yet very clear what form it will take. Another issue that the Russian Defense Minister had to pay attention to during the negotiations in Minsk was the possible withdrawal of the United States from the INF treaty.
Experts say that Russian hardball rhetoric is largely aimed at the domestic market — maintaining the image of the besieged fortress. Statements by Belarus about concerns with threats in the Eastern European region are more likely political overtures to an ally in order to demonstrate loyalty in exchange for economic preferences.
As for the threat from the East, according to experts, there is little reason to talk about the high probability of deploying a Russian military base in Belarus — although the Kremlin has repeatedly demanded this. Accordingly, it is not worth while to talk about the Armenian scenario, when the entire national security domain is basically subordinated to Russia while maintaining relative internal freedom.
However, balancing on the political arena and successfully selling the “NATO threat” and declarative support to Russia in exchange for financial assistance is becoming increasingly difficult.
Zmitser Mitskevich, belsat.eu