Belarusian military industry may receive investments from UAE

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November 07, 2016 10:04
Image: BelTA

Lukashenka’s visit to the UAE aimed to ‘translate’ friendly political relations between Belarus and the UAE into bilateral financial cooperation, especially in the military-technical field. As a result, the UAE could become a direct capital investor to the Belarusian military-industrial complex enterprises and could start producing military products developed in Belarus.

From October 30th to November 5th, 2016, President Lukashenka visited main Belarusian partner-states in the Persian Gulf, Qatar and the UAE. In Doha, the parties negotiated political and trade-economic relations, while in the United Arab Emirates, the subject of negotiations was much broader.

Interestingly, Lukashenka did not meet the UAE President, however, held talks with all major law enforcement agencies, including, UAE Interior Minister Sheikh Seif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and UAE Defence Minister, Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Among other issues, the parties discussed the military-technical cooperation.

The UAE is a long time consumer of the Belarusian military industry production. Belarus exported automotive vehicles, weapons guidance systems, and optics to the Emirates. In recent years, the UAE actively developed own production of unmanned aircraft and light wheeled armoured vehicles. However, they lacked the necessary scientific and engineering base to organise the full production cycle from designing to manufacturing such products. Belarus has such a base and thanks to positive political relations between the two states could become a comfortable partner for the Emirates.

In recent years, the Belarusian authorities attempted to raise foreign investment for the domestic military-industrial complex from the friendly political regimes and the states with minimal geopolitical interests in the Eastern European region. As a result, the UAE could become a direct capital investor to Belarusian military-industrial complex enterprises and could start producing military products developed in Belarus. That said, the most beneficial for Belarus, would be raising additional funds for developing new defence technology/products, which could become new export items.

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Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries entangle in confrontation spiral
October 02, 2017 11:57
Фото: RFRM

Over the past year, military-political relations between Minsk and Kyiv have become complicated. Due to their high inertia and peculiarities, this downward trend would be extremely difficult to overcome.

The root cause of the crisis is the absence of a common political agenda in the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. Minsk is looking for a market for Belarusian exports in Ukraine and offers its services as a negotiation platform for the settlement of the Russo-Ukrainian war, thereby hoping to avoid political issues in the dialogue with Kiev. Meanwhile, Ukraine is hoping for political support from Minsk in the confrontation with Moscow. In addition, Ukraine’s integration with NATO presupposes her common position with the Alliance in relation to Belarus. The NATO leadership regards the Belarusian Armed Forces as an integral part of the Russian military machine in the western strategic front (the Baltic states and Poland). In addition, the ongoing military reform in Ukraine envisages a reduction in the number of generals and the domestic political struggle makes some Ukrainian top military leaders targets in politically motivated attacks.

Hence, the criticism of Belarus coming from Ukrainian military leadership is dictated primarily by internal and external political considerations, as well as by the need to protect the interests of generals, and only then by facts.

For instance, initially, the Ukrainian military leadership made statements about 100,000 Russian servicemen allegedly taking part in the Russo-Belarusian military drill West-2017. Then the exercises were labelled quazi-open and military observers from Ukraine refused to provide their assessment, which caused a negative reaction in Minsk. Further, without citing specific facts, it was stated that Russia was building up its military presence in Belarus.

Apparently, the Belarusian and Ukrainian Defence Ministries have entangled in a confrontational spiral (on the level of rhetoric). Moreover, only a small part of the overly hidden process has been disclosed. That said, third states are very likely to take advantage of the situation (or have already done so). This is not only about Russia.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry officials are restrained in assessing their Ukrainian counterparts. However, such a restraint is not enough. Current military-political relations between Belarus and Ukraine are unlikely to stabilise without the intervention of both presidents.

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