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April 18 – April 24, 2022
Security issues

Minsk tries to remain relevant to regional security geopolitics

The situation has not changed

Involvement in Belarus in negotiations regarding security guarantees for Ukraine is a two-handed game with the Kremlin. However, each participant has its own goals, none of which seem immediately achievable.

Following Lukashenka’s peremptory demand that Belarus participate in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement concurring that Belarus must act as a guarantor country of Ukraine’s security.

This tacitly acknowledges this as a joint Moscow/Minsk position, although each party has slightly different objectives. Moscow aims to use Belarus as an additional mouthpiece in matters related to Ukraine, following the pattern of the USSR, which had two additional votes at the UN via the BSSR and Ukrainian SSR. Meanwhile, Minsk wishes to restore its relevance in foreign policy matters, receive guarantees regarding its own security, and possibly take part in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Belarus acting as a guarantor of Ukrainian security would only be relevant if all countries bordering Ukraine were included. However, Kyiv has made it clear that it is interested only in those who can provide quick and meaningful military assistance if necessary. In addition, in recent days, both the West and the Ukrainian leadership have expressed increasing scepticism about reaching a peace agreement with the Kremlin.

Judging by the public announcements of large-scale shipments supplies of heavy weapons to Ukraine, the West’s goal is to inflict military defeat on Russia, regardless of the duration of the war. Kyiv has started to discuss the prospects for the military liberation of Crimea in addition to the Donbas.

Under such circumstances, the idea of Belarus as a party to negotiations seems impractical. Moreover, the insistence of the Belarusian regime regarding this subject will be perceived in the West and Kyiv as Kremlin intrigue, further reinforcing the external perception of Minsk as a Kremlin puppet where regional politics and security are concerned.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.
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