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Oct 22, 2021
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Generals study maps: Russian military bases will protect Minsk from NATO tanks

Generals study maps: Russian military bases will protect Minsk from NATO tanks

Photo: Vadim Savitsky / TASS

The new military doctrine of the Union State (SG) of Russia and Belarus will be a response to the systemic pressure of the collective West, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a joint collegium of the military departments of the two countries in Moscow. The document is ready, although it has not yet been published, and will soon be approved by the Supreme State Council of the Union State.

The military of the two countries have already switched to planning cooperation on the basis of a 5-year strategic partnership program. In 2023, the Union Shield joint exercises will be held (analogous to West-2021, but in Russia). In Belarus, a joint combat training center for the Air Force and Air Defense Forces was launched in cooperation with the Russian Federation. The contract for the deployment of two Russian military facilities in Vileika and Baranovichi has been extended.

The Russian minister’s statement was made on the eve of talks between the heads of the military departments of NATO countries, where it is planned to agree on the “Concept of deterrence and defense in the Euro-Atlantic region” directed against Russia. “We recognize Russia as the greatest threat of the 21st century and decide how to deal with it,” the British Defense Minister quoted Reuters media. Ben Wallace

– Russia had and has its own military doctrine. The joint doctrine with Belarus is connected with the fact that we have a single defense space, we are allies. And not only in a bilateral format, but also within the CSTO, – he recalled military expert Viktor Litovkin… – We already have common plans for the joint use of armed forces.

As the situation near the border of Belarus and Russia (Kaliningrad region) is deteriorating, NATO is increasingly conducting exercises there, more and more threats arise, then, of course, it is necessary to create some kind of common document that formalizes our relations in the event of any forceful provocations or, do not let god, full-scale war.

The common military doctrine will become a kind of ideology of the Russian-Belarusian defense space. She will describe the threats, principles of organizing defense, joint steps in the event of the outbreak of real hostilities. After signing it by the presidents, our armed forces will live according to this document.

“SP”: – The military potentials of the two countries are incomparable. It seems that from Belarus we need territory, the depth of the front, and from Russia, it needs a nuclear umbrella. That’s the whole doctrine …

– Belarus already has a nuclear umbrella, since we have a mutual assistance agreement. In the foundations of Russia’s nuclear policy it is written that if a state or a coalition of states possessing nuclear weapons attacks Belarus, then we have the right to launch a nuclear strike against the aggressors. Moscow needs Belarus as a front line of defense. Therefore, we make concessions.

“SP”: – Russia has been striving for many years to open its military bases there. Lukashenka’s consent was not obtained. Instead, they decided to open three joint training centers, two of which are in the Russian Federation. Maybe the military bases in Belarus are not important for the success of the joint defense?

– Of course, this is important. If we have a Union State, then we need to take into account the interests of both parties, and not just Belarus. It is also desirable to have bases for purely military reasons. They make it possible to jointly study the theater of military operations, control nearby territory, and develop plans for the use of troops.

But we must remember that Lukashenka promised his population that there will never be foreign military bases on the territory of Belarus. He also promised that the Belarusian guys will never fight somewhere far away for someone’s interests. So they don’t fight. After all, Belarus does not participate in the CSTO exercises beyond the Urals. He keeps his word.

However, military doctrine does not specify the location of military bases. This is a general document, rather an ideological one. And the bases … Belarus is not such a big country. If it is attacked, we can reach the enemy from the depths of our territory: from Smolensk or from Kaliningrad. And then enter your troops. First, let the Belarusians defend themselves, and then we will help.

Expert of the Center for Military-Political Studies of MGIMO, Doctor of Political Science Mikhail Alexandrov expects Belarus to provide reciprocal assistance to Russia in ensuring our security.

– If the Russian military doctrine was published regularly, then no common military doctrine between Russia and Belarus has been heard so far. This is already a new quality. Important things should be spelled out there. For example, the automatism of the use of military force in the event of an attack by an aggressor on one of the members of the Union State. Of course, this is in the CSTO agreement, but other states participate there, and here we are together with Belarus.

It is necessary to resolve the issue with Russian military bases on the territory of Belarus. There are two objects there, but they are technical. Now there are national groupings, and in the event of war, they unite. It is necessary to create a single grouping of troops under a single command (it is only on paper). A single group should take part in exercises and military operations. So far, Belarus does not participate either in Syria, or in Karabakh, or in South Ossetia.

“SP”: – Don’t you think that internal political upheavals in Belarus are becoming a military factor. NATO will go on the offensive, and some Minskers, opponents of Lukashenka, will greet them with flowers …

Now the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is more and more interested in conducting a hybrid war. And the West’s hybrid war has been going on for a long time. It includes cyber operations, information attacks, and the use of internal opposition to destabilize the political system, including by force. This is in both Belarus and Russia. This important element of opposition must also be reflected in doctrine. But the confrontation must be solidary.

Belarus does not oppose the hybrid war of the West against the Donbass, the Minsk agreements, and the Crimea. Minsk wants Moscow to provide him with security, but does not want to help us in ensuring our security. For example, it is trying to maintain business relations with the hostile Kiev regime, which is a puppet of the West and is aimed at causing damage to Russia.

Although in Belarus, I know, there are many competent, assertive scientists, specialists who could help Russia in this hybrid war. But Lukashenka won’t let them. He always bends his line. For him, the main thing is to maintain his own power, to maintain a multi-vector approach, to play on the contradictions between various centers of power. This is his strong point. We must force him to fulfill his allied obligations.

Director of the Center for the Study of a Society in Crisis Maxim Vilisov hopes that the recent signing of the roadmaps will change the style of relations between the two countries.

– It seems to me that the situation is presented to us in a slightly better light than it really is. The military component of cooperation between the two countries has been more or less fulfilled in recent years. Even if not to the extent that Russia wanted. Not through the deployment of Russian military bases, troops or the creation of an allied army in Belarus, but through interaction, military-technical cooperation, mainly at Russian expense.

“SP”: – Is there evidence?

– Defense spending of Belarus is 1% of GDP. And Russia has 3.5%. We remember how Trump in a similar situation, he tried to force the US allies in NATO to make them pay at least 2% of GDP to the budget of the alliance. Therefore, we are not talking about an equal union here. We are talking about the Russian military cover of the territory of Belarus to avoid threats from the West, the possibility of which we are well aware of from history.

The same can be said about political and economic interaction. This is all very unstable. Suffice it to recall the alleged spy scandal that they tried to create in Belarus in 2020 … It is hoped that our Minister of Defense knows that now (after signing 28 roadmaps – Auth.) The situation will change and we will indeed reach a qualitatively new level of partnership.

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