Minsk’s concerns over the NATO military build-up in Eastern Europe are not groundless, and Belarus together with Russia needs to meet those threats, Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine told EADaily on May 25.
“NATO’s military expansion towards the borders of Belarus poses potential threat to the security of that country and the Russian Federation too. Therefore, we must meet that threat through combined Russian-Belarusian measures that look to upgrade the interoperability of our headquarters, conduct joint maneuvers, exercises and improve the collective defense within the Collection Security Treaty Organization. At the same time, Moscow anticipates that Belarus will return to the issue of deploying the Russian air base in its territory, as it was agreed earlier but not implemented by Minsk,” Korotchenko said.
He is sure that a base of Russia’s Aerospace Force in the territory of Belarus will be a proper response to NATO’s military buildup near the borders of Belarus. As for Minsk’s recent tilt towards the West, Korotchenko said only Russia is a reliable rear for Belarus. “Minsk is waging a multi-vector policy and we are not happy with Lukashenko’s current close relationships with the EU, indeed. Obviously, the reason is the heavy financial and economic situation of Belarus. At the same time, let us not forget the fate of the leaders that waged westward policy and then were ‘liquidated’ by the West. Only Russia is a reliable rear for Belarus, not Europe,” Korotchenko said for conclusion.
EADaily reported earlier that on May 16, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov following his meeting with Vladimir Makei, Foreign Minister of Belarus, said that Moscow and Minsk are concerned over the eastward expansion of NATO’s military infrastructures. He said Russia and Belarus will work out measures to respond to the deployment of NATO’s European missile defense systems near their borders.