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Why Belarus Is About To Get Interesting

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posted on Sep, 9 2015 @ 09:01 PM
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Why Belarus Is About To Get Interesting


When the Ukrainian and Belarusian national football teams faced off in Lviv last weekend, their fans marched out together under banners reading "For Your Freedom And Ours" and "A Brotherhood Of Conscience."

They belted out chants and songs deriding Russian President Vladimir Putin -- with predictably unprintable lyrics -- and gave blood together for wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

Two weeks earlier, Belarus's authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka pardoned and released six political prisoners. The move, veteran Kremlin-watcher Paul Goble wrote on his blog, was "clearly intended to send a message to both the West and Moscow."

One of the unexpected consequences of Russia's annexation of Crimea and proxy war in eastern Ukraine has been a chill in relations between Minsk and Moscow and a thaw in those between Belarus and the West.

Lukashenka, of course, has been careful not to completely burn his bridges with Moscow, given his dependence on Russian subsidies. Belarus remains a member of the Eurasian Union and regularly conducts joint military drills with Russia.

But as political analyst Petr Bologov writes on Slon.ru, since the Ukraine crisis broke out, Belarus has been the only thing remotely resembling a Moscow ally "west of Smolensk" -- and this has given Minsk considerable breathing space.

But that may be about to change.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is due in Minsk on September 9, ostensibly for a meeting of the Eurasian Union's intergovernmental council.

But according to Russian press reports, the real goal of Medvedev's trip is to deliver a message from the Kremlin: It's time to stop bobbing and weaving between Moscow and the West and get on board.

Specifically, Russia wants Belarus to allow it to build a new air base on Belarusian territory -- something Lukashenka had been resisting.

The base would be located in Babruysk, in eastern Belarus, and would station SU-27 fighter jets manned by Russian pilots, Stratfor.com reported.

It would significantly project Russian military power westward, allowing Moscow to threaten and intimidate not only Ukraine but also Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.



And if Lukashenka continues to resist? Well, then the upcoming Belarusian presidential election gives Moscow a major opportunity to tighten the screws on him.

According to Arseniy Sivitsky and Yury Tsarik of the Belarusian Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Research, Moscow is laying the groundwork to destabilize Belarus in the aftermath of the October 11 election -- creating the "illusion of a Maidan," so Russian forces could then enter the country to restore order.

And the information campaign appears to have already begun.


Click link for remainder of article..

So once again Russia is gearing up to go after another former SSR that wants to have some independence from Moscow. If Belarus doesn't give in to Russian demands to build a Russian air force base in Belarus they are going to destabilize the current government and put their own in place. At what point should Russia be stopped?




posted on Sep, 9 2015 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

When Push comes to shove Putin will never let Belarus go but that just may severely backfire on him causing a civil war per say he can not handle. Today's world will not allow another Hungary or Chech type beat down of a whole nation just to keep it inline with the neighboring country who is seen as a bully just so he can be BOSS. Ukraine has the world on edge as it is. Putin knows he will risk everything should he go for an all out invasion of Ukraine.



posted on Sep, 9 2015 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: Patriotsrevenge

True however we again run into the issue of Belarus not being a member of NATO. Given the worlds response to what occurred in Ukraine I fear we are once again back to European appeasement. I can understand non involvement.... to a point.

At what point though do we move from noninvolvement and the Chamberlain doctrine the Churchill doctrine?



posted on Sep, 9 2015 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

I actually also considered them involved in a war, in the near future.



posted on Sep, 9 2015 @ 10:43 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

'At what point should Russia be stopped' is a very interesting question. I do not think Belarus is the line in the sand. I believe the Baltic nations are that line in the sand for the West.

Lukashenka is a psychopathic monster who has only managed to remain in power because of support from Moscow with subsidies from the Russian government. His governments actions are consistent with the bad old days of the USSR. Up till now the West would not even think of touching Lukashenka with a barge pole.

Obviously, Lukashenka looked at the annexation of Crimea and saw writing on the wall for his regime. I think if Russia demanded or caused regime change in Belarus the popular sentiment to Lukashenka's removal would be one of 'good riddance to bad rubbish'. After all there are about 300,000 Poles in Belarus who hate Lukashenka with a passion.

But if Russia sought to annex Belarus or occupy it, all bets are off. Those 300,000 Poles do not want to be under Russian rule, and with help from Poland they could wage a mighty resistance.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 12:00 AM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

Belarus has already established economic connections with the EEU. Its just a matter of time before they merge with Russia.

Will Russia persue Belarus? Probably.
Should Russia be stopped? Maybe.
Would Russia be stopped in such a scenario? Absolutely not! No one stood in their way with Crimea, we have even less stopping power today.

Russia is gaining economic momentum with BRICS and the EEU. The West is bankrupt. No one can afford to stand in Russia's way.


edit on 10-9-2015 by BELIEVERpriest because: added point

edit on 10-9-2015 by BELIEVERpriest because: typos



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 01:42 AM
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yeah, come to us. we (us, eu, nato) bring peace and harmony to the world!



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 02:40 AM
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originally posted by: BELIEVERpriest
Russia is gaining economic momentum with BRICS and the EEU.


Are you joking?

Chinas economy is being thrashed and trade between Russia and China is down. The second pipeline is on hold and Chinese imports of Russian gas are down.

The sanctions on Russia have an impact contrary to what Putin is claiming.

India and China are once again at odds because of the S. China sea and Indian drilling / exploration rigs.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 05:18 AM
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a reply to: Xcathdra


Interesting. India recently offered Belarus $100 Million in credit.

www.sify.com...



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 05:37 AM
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originally posted by: Xcathdra

originally posted by: BELIEVERpriest
Russia is gaining economic momentum with BRICS and the EEU.


Are you joking?

Chinas economy is being thrashed and trade between Russia and China is down. The second pipeline is on hold and Chinese imports of Russian gas are down.

The sanctions on Russia have an impact contrary to what Putin is claiming.

India and China are once again at odds because of the S. China sea and Indian drilling / exploration rigs.


Judging by all the Russian Mafia and tourist we used to have in Pattaya I do believe you are correct....they have (90%) all gone home because they could not afford to live in a poor third world country anymore.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 05:39 AM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

You forgot to mention that Brazil's government bonds are now rated
"junk":

www.economist.com...

With partners like this, Russia doesn't stand a chance of becoming a global player again.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 03:53 PM
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originally posted by: DJW001
a reply to: Xcathdra

You forgot to mention that Brazil's government bonds are now rated
"junk":

www.economist.com...

With partners like this, Russia doesn't stand a chance of becoming a global player again.


Is china not setting up its own ratings agency? Won't this make ratings from outside of the bricks nations irrelevant?



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 04:09 PM
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I think the big story here is that just a few months ago Belarus was Russia's most loyal lap dog. Now even they are trying to distance themselves from the Bear. But obviously it's just Western influence even though there has been no change in government.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 04:29 PM
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originally posted by: Nexttimemaybe Won't this make ratings from outside of the bricks nations irrelevant?



Possibly... However 7 nations aren't self reliant so what other countries think will come into play. Not to mention all the BRICS nations are still members of the IMF as well as the G nations.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: Nexttimemaybe


Is china not setting up its own ratings agency? Won't this make ratings from outside of the bricks nations irrelevant?


No; outside investors will not trust the Chinese ratings, which mean foreign investment will shy away.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: Xcathdra

I digged a bit into the subject and I am not really sure this is a case of pressuring Lukashenko to build a base. It was planned after Belarus asked for increased presence of military forces given the NATO build-up.

The use of the airfield in Babruysk has been used already in the past for military purpouses, so I guess they are planning to expand it. Sources: rt.com and tass

Also this is Belarus propaganda (maybe or maybe not) in oct 2014, one week after the announcement of the base. This is in response to an article in Moscow Times which I'm not able to find tho.



According to the story, Russia has stationed its fighter jets in Baranavichy and announced plans for an air base in Lida and even decided to establish an airbase in Babruysk. This is all a part of Russia's global military expansion with Russian strategic bombers going to the Caucasus and Central Asia and probably to other regions as well.

Analysis of recent news on the Russian base in Belarus paints a slightly different picture. Minsk and Moscow gave up plans to put Russian fighter jets next door to NATO member states. Russia will get only one base in Babruysk, and later than it had originally planned.
....
The Moscow Times article distorted the issue in a few ways. First of all, it exaggerated the numbers by claiming that a wing of Russian Su-27 fighter jets would be stationed at the base. A Russian regiment, however, contains fewer planes than a wing in the British Commonwealth nations (24 and 30 aircraft, respectively).

Second, the article presented the decision to establish the airbase in Babruysk in the context of the expansion of Russia's air force presence in post-Soviet states. It implied that the decision to place a base in Belarus is related to Moscow's plans to make its air force bases in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan suitable for use by strategic bombers as well as to negotiate additional bases for strategic bombers around the world. However, there is no evidence of plans to deploy strategic bombers in Belarus.
....
In short, the Russian military expansion in Belarus looks more like a desperate attempt to compensate for the degradation of the Belarusian air force.
....
There is no realistic threat of a "Crimean-style" take over by Russia of Belarusian territory either. Even if in addition to the two existing Russian technical military facilities (a radar installation and a communication centre) in Belarus, Moscow does manage to establish another base, it will still have no “boots on the ground” in Belarus.


In a month Lukashenko is going to run for another mandate, so he is trying to keep both parties in his support, that's also why he released some political prisoners and somehow criticized Crimea's annexation. But he is not going to leave Russia, his presidency depends on them, thus is heavily preoccupied to get the same treatment of Yanukovic.
An article from stratfor has some more insight:



However, Lukashenko adeptly made Belarus an intermediary in negotiations between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine. Minsk served as a primary venue for talks and cease-fire agreements that produced tangible, albeit incomplete, results. By doing so, Lukashenko prevented the West from fomenting a Euromaidan-style uprising in Belarus and enabled Belarus to gain economic benefits from Europe at a time when Russia's economic crisis was hurting the Belarusian economy.


Imho Russia shouldn't be stopped in what's clearly a defensive positioning in territories that are part of the Eurasian Economic Union. It's like asking to stop NATO forces in Poland.



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: DJW001
a reply to: Xcathdra

You forgot to mention that Brazil's government bonds are now rated
"junk":

www.economist.com...

With partners like this, Russia doesn't stand a chance of becoming a global player again.


All bonds are junk, everything is a gamble. I have a bunch of US savings bonds that I have no doubt will be worthless when they come due in 15 years. The USA's economy is a joke. We live in a glass house just like everyone else, and we will be lucky if ours is the last to break.

Should Russia be stopped? Nope. It has no bearing on my life or the lives of most Americans beyond the wasted millions of dollars in aid given to Ukraine. That's money that could have and SHOULD have been used for America(ns).



posted on Sep, 10 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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a reply to: Mastronaut

So using your logic European and Asian countries are justified in invading the former SSR's to keep Russia off their doorstep?

Secondly Maiden was not fomented by the west, regardless of how many times its repeated. Putin already had plans to invade Ukraine and seize Crimea before Yanukovych was lawfully removed from power.



posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 03:20 AM
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Russia is ready to establish airbases in neighboring countries – Russian PM


Russia could create more Air Force facilities on the territories of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member-states, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told journalists at the meeting of the heads of Eurasian Economic Union governments.

“As for agreements concerning the establishment of such bases, we already have such facilities… in Kirgizia and Armenia, and there is no wonder in this fact. We are, in fact, ready (to strike agreements on the stationing of air bases) with any of the countries with which we have alliance treaties, whether it is CSTO or CSTO Plus, like in the case of the Republic of Belarus,” Dmitry Medvedev said at the meeting, which took place in the Belarusian city of Grodno.

The Eurasian Economic Union, which was established on May 29 2014, is a regional economic union that currently includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kirgizia.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a wider regional military alliance, founded on May 15 1992, that also includes Tajikistan.



posted on Sep, 11 2015 @ 04:20 AM
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originally posted by: Xcathdra
a reply to: Mastronaut

So using your logic European and Asian countries are justified in invading the former SSR's to keep Russia off their doorstep?

Secondly Maiden was not fomented by the west, regardless of how many times its repeated. Putin already had plans to invade Ukraine and seize Crimea before Yanukovych was lawfully removed from power.



Why are you so hostile, I just posted some sources that clearly shows that this base is not a news and probably not the lever to pressure Lukashenko. My logic is simply that there are agreements among these countries, they are already part of a coalition, don't make it like they are the old USSR dependencies because most of these countries are run by oligarchs and must remain independent to provide a buffer zone.

The countries that are already dealing with Russia have no intention to flee. It's not an invasion for them, russians ARE already there and they are reinforcing their military and economic position together. Russia also counts for more than half the exports of some of those and they have no military, economic or financial reason to get into suicidal debt with the west to just increase tensions on their borders. On the other side Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Checnya and Tajikistan are reporting "western contacts" since a few years.

Maiden was surely fomented by west and you are simply spreading propaganda if you think that Crimea must be an example for other countries to be scared of Russian invasion.
If there weren't pressures from the west, Ukraine will be considered friendly from Russia and there would be no threat to their military assets, or you think that Crimea is about geographic ego?



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