Tensions between Minsk and Moscow? “No, the operation of Belarus has the green light from the Kremlin”

In its activities, the Belarusian side uses the support of Russia on several levels: in the form of a common political position and information and propaganda activities, as well as activities in the field of security – demonstrations of force such as Russian bomber flights or unannounced landing exercises near the Polish border – says Marek Menkiszak, head of the Russian team at the Warsaw OSW.

The Kremlin “an informal broker”

In this way, Minsk can demonstrate to the EU that Moscow is behind it. The purpose of these activities is to empower you Alyaksandr Łuakszenki in relations with the EU – indicates the expert.

Also Kremlin he takes advantage of this situation to strengthen his cards and “act as an informal intermediary”.

For Moscow, this is a dream situation: the EU, Germany, France turn to Vladimir Putin with calls for him to influence the situation, he stopped Alyaksandr Lukashenka from escalating – the interlocutor adds PAP.

According to him, the “hybrid operation at the EU borders initiated by Belarus and given the green light from the Kremlin” has specific political goals.

Belarus wants to establish a formal dialogue and political legitimacy of the power of Alexander Lukashenka, as well as to stop further sanctions, especially economic ones, and in the future – to lift the existing ones. In turn, Russia also has an interest in this, because the sanctions against Minsk indirectly hit it as well – explains the analyst.

Scenarios for further development of the situation

Speaking about the scenarios for further development of the situation, Menkiszak talks about a variant of a gradual de-escalation and a possible tightening.

We see symbolic gestures in the form of return flights to Iraq, a certain reduction in pressure on the border. However, it is still a certain game, because in both situations Minsk has the ability to reverse the situation. Besides: nothing for free. The Belarusian authorities are demanding a humanitarian corridor and that the EU should pay for the return of migrants. With the constant presence of migrants in Belarus, this gives room for blackmailing the EU – says Menkiszak.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka directly threatened that an escalation could occur on the border, which in the worst case scenario could even mean a local military conflict on the border. Statements that “someone” is trying to transfer weapons from Donbas to the refugee camp or the massive declarations of the defense ministry about the alleged threat from Poland, to which Belarus is ready to respond, are an obvious element of this psychological war, scaring its immediate neighbors, but also the entire West – says the OSW expert.

A less radical variant of the escalation is the re-intensification of attacks on the border and the continuation of the humanitarian crisis, while pointing to Poland and the EU side as guilty. – he adds.

As he emphasizes, “this campaign is going on all the time, with Russia actively participating in it”. – The propaganda of both countries argues about the brutality of Polish border services and the police, violation of the principles of European law and values, and the inaction of the EU and international organizations. Putin has already several times personally expressed his indignation with the “brutality of Polish officials”, his deep concern for women and children on the border – says Menkiszak.

In his opinion, the aim of these activities is “to launch the entire debate within the EU, to convince people that the most important thing is to solve the humanitarian crisis, and for this purpose political and financial concessions to Minsk are necessary”.

For Russia, the crisis in Belarus is only one of the directions of destabilizing action. We see a serious crisis on the borders with Ukraine, with the threat of turning into an armed conflict. The energy crisis supported by Russia is underway, leading to a gigantic increase in raw material prices and potential disputes in the EU and the West over the strategy of action towards Russia – emphasizes Menkiszak.

About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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