On 22 January, President Alexander Lukashenka approved changes to Belarus' military doctrine. This document reveals fundamental changes in the mindset of the Belarusian establishment. Learning Ukrainian lessons, Minsk is putting issues of military security at the top of its priority list. Belarusian strategists have also identified which threats are to be countered. They include violent political changes, which Minsk suspects may come from Ukraine and pro-Moscow forces' attempts to repeat in Belarus their exploits in Ukraine.
On 22 January, President Alexander Lukashenka approved changes to Belarus' military doctrine. This document reveals fundamental changes in the mindset of the Belarusian establishment. Learning Ukrainian lessons, Minsk is putting issues of military security at the top of its priority list.
Belarusian strategists have also identified which threats are to be countered. They include violent political changes, which Minsk suspects may come from Ukraine and pro-Moscow forces' attempts to repeat in Belarus their exploits in Ukraine.
01 February 2016
At the end of 2015 Belarus published a new energy security concept according to which it remains a country with a critical level of energy dependence.
90 per cent of Belarusian energy imports come from a single supplier – Russia. Moreover, a third of export revenue is traditionally generated by refining Russian oil.
The authorities prefer to retain the status-quo as an...
21 January 2016
On 5 January, Russia declared that Belarusian firms would get direct access to Russia's military procurement orders. It this really happens, it will mean that Russia has completed the process of replacing Belarusian components with Russian ones.
Minsk is looking to diversify its links in the military sphere. Recently, it continued working with China and Pakistan, and may even have...
12 January 2016
Belarus has managed to persuade Russia to supply it with arms and renounce plans for a Russian air base on Belarusian territory.
The Belarusian official military daily newspaper admitted at the end of December that some (apparently four) Russian aircraft are still stationed in Baranavichy. But Minsk has managed to postpone or even cancelled...
04 January 2016
On 16 December, President Lukashenka requested that Belarusian security agencies not neglect the consequences which the situation in Ukraine created for Belarus. He referred to the recent case of a former Donbas war veteran detained with weapons and explosives at the railway station in Minsk.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian State Border Committee reported about serious rise in illegal...
18 December 2015
Minsk consistently avoids supporting Moscow in Ukraine and Syria. To put it mildly. After all, on 7 December, Ukrainian Internal Minister Avakov inaugurated the new Ukrainian armoured vehicle Varta designed in cooperation with "Belarusian engineers".
It became just one more of a series of examples of Belarus-Ukrainian defence cooperation. Later on, the Belarusian Defence...
07 December 2015
On 15 November, Belarusian Defence Minister Andrej Raŭkoŭ appeared on Belarusian Television to discuss a new military doctrine, which he attributed to the arms buildup in neighbouring NATO states surrounding Belarus.
This article explores the background and content — insofar as it is known — of this doctrine and the preparedness of Belarus to meet future contingencies,...
26 November 2015
On 26 October Russian President Putin planned for a discussion about the plans for establishing a Russian airbase in Belarus with his Belarusian colleague Lukashenka. They did not meet.
Instead, a Russian general told the press that the base plans had been agreed on with the Belarusian side. The Belarusian defence ministry retorted that there was no political decision on the facility....
16 November 2015
On Friday, Aleksandr Lukashenka approved a five-year plan for the deployment of a joint Belarus-Russian military group, which will be adopted at a forthcoming meeting with the Russian President.
Just before this news became public, Delfi.it reported that US General Ben Hodges had lamented that a joint operation of Belarusian and Russian troops stationed in Kaliningrad might easily cut...
06 October 2015
On Sunday, a rally against Russia's military bases in Belarus took place in central Minsk. This national security issue has become a major theme before the presidential elections next Saturday. And not only inside the country.
Moscow keeps leaking information on the base and putting pressure on Minsk. The situation reminds one of the history of the establishment of the...
24 September 2015
This month, the Kremlin intensified pressure on Belarus to agree to a Russian airbase on its territory. Last Saturday President Putin asked his Defence and Foreign Ministries to negotiate and sign the agreement on an airbase with Minsk.
The Financial Times noted that "Russia is moving ahead with plans to establish a military air base in Belarus." Yet Moscow still...
01 September 2015
Official media has celebrated new contracts to buy Russian-made military equipment. Belarus plans to decommission another advanced military aircraft the Su-25, which the newly acquired Yak-130 aircraft with it's limited capacities will fail to replace.
Minsk has succeeded in developing defence ties with Pakistan, while its arms designing projects with China may convince Moscow to...
25 August 2015
Last week, the Belarusian army newspaper Vo Slavu Rodiny published an article praising the newly received Russian warplanes. However, these Russian aircraft are a step backward compared to the equipment that Belarus already had.
President Lukashenka recently publicly complained that the Kremlin had refused to give Belarus a dozen aircraft. The Belarusian authorities therefore...