Belarus to step up own security through contacts with Washington
Last week, President Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Makey met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin. Belarus anticipates expanding pragmatic cooperation with the United States in areas of mutual interest, which has enhanced over the past two years– for example, regarding safe transit of NATO cargo to Afghanistan through Belarus. Amid the unpredictable Kremlin’s foreign policy, Belarus’ improved relations with Washington also enhance her own security. In addition, the authorities expect that Washington will not interfere with the presidential election in 2015 through funding of the opposition and destabilising the country.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.