The incumbent authorities in Belarus want to see Russia weak, Andrey Suzdaltsev, a political analyst, expert in Russia-Belarus relations, said at a roundtable discussion “Belarus identity at the new stage of development of Belarus statehood” organized by the Analytical Center of Innovative Projects and Technologies, in Moscow, on November 10, EADaily’s correspondent reports.
According to Suzdaltsev, the Belarusian elite perceive Russia as a big, solid state, which, however, is not able to resist the United States. “When we faced a conflict with the West, they said you will fail and surrender. It was not for nothing that in autumn 2014, Lukashenko recalled Pskov (on October 17, he said that previously Pskov, Smolensk, and Bryansk were allegedly part of Belarus, therefore Russia “will have to share” - EADaily); they were convinced in sooner collapse of Russia and wanted to be the first to divide it,” the expert said.
In his words, the Belarusian leader was really shocked at Russia’s military operation in Syria. “All the statements that ‘Russia will surrender’ have shivered. Now they do not know what to do,” Suzdaltsev said.
He added that the West’s sanctions against Lukashenko were frozen, but not rescinded finally. “This means that no Russian air base will be deployed in Belarus. Yet, Lukashenko promised it. Now he is waiting to see how this will end,” he said. The expert believes that the developments of the near future will determine the Russian-Belarus relations for the coming five years.
EADaily reported earlier that the issue of Russia’s air base in Belarus has been regularly raised at the highest level during the last few years. In September 2015, Vladimir Putin charged the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry of Russia to launch talks with Minsk over deployment of the air base. Afterwards, Alexander Lukashenko, Defense Minister of Belarus Andrei Ravkov and Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei made some statements denying the possibility of deployment of Russian fighter jets in Belarus. At the moment, the issue of Russia’s military build-up in the west of that allied country is still pending.