The Living Force
Cross-Post from: Civil War in Ukraine: Western Empire vs Russia

thorbiorn said: Monday at 8:00 PM

Quote: There was an article on a Russian news site EurAsia Daily written by a person based in Tbilisi (Irakli Chkheidze (Tbilisi), specially for Colossal) who reports and reflects on an interview given by, still very active behind the scenes former General Secretary of Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen to a Polish Newspaper. The main point is that Belarus has been selected as a future target for NATO interference. Below is an excerpt of the rather long article. The translation of the machine is not exceptional, but hope you get a gist of the message.

12 Nov 2018 15:37
In the footsteps of Georgia and Ukraine: NATO in the fight against Russia chooses a new target
It seems that now the main target becomes the Republic of Belarus. And now, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in an interview with Polish radio said that Belarus, under certain reforms in the future could play an interesting role due to its geographical position between Europe and Russia. [...]
It would be interesting to know what "certain reforms" have to hold Belarus to play this very "interesting role"?
[...]"There is no doubt that Putin will put pressure on Belarus. We have already seen how Russia is pushing local authorities to place the base and to ensure the presence of Russian forces in Belarus on a permanent basis", — the former Secretary General of the Alliance. [...]
Click to expand...
In this 2400 + post long thread Belarus has been mentioned. Perhaps one day Belarus needs its own thread. When NATO comes into a country it is all freedom and democracy, when people defend their own values, it is oppression. I tried to find the source for the quoted interview, but I can't access the link to the audio from Polish Radio on Q&A with Anders Fogh Rasmussen 07.11.2018 12:00 wich is a possible source. End Quote.

November 16, 2018 - Moscow ready to supply any weapons to allied Belarus, says Russian ambassador
Moscow ready to supply any weapons to allied Belarus, says Russian ambassador

Russia, as Belarus’ ally, is ready to supply any types of weapons to that country, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Babich said on Friday.

"Any necessary assistance will be rendered in a format and in quantity that will correspond to the situation," he said, adding that Russia is committed to its obligations within the allied relations.

These obligations "will be unconditionally implemented if Belarus needs it, since Russia never separates itself "from Belarus in the defense sphere," he stressed.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in early November that Minsk may need new weapons, including missile weapons, in case NATO built up its activities or once the United States deployed a base in Poland. Earlier, Poland suggested the United States deploy on a permanent basis a tank division and pay for the expenses of some 1.5 to 2 billion US dollars. Following that, Lukashenko said Poland should better refrain from deploying "excessive bases otherwise Minsk and Moscow would be forces to respond.".

Nov. 10, 2018 - Belarus: Lukashenka Says No Need For Russian Military Base
Belarus: Lukashenka Says No Need For Russian Military Base

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that the U.S. “military and political role” in Europe is crucial to regional security and emphasized that he does not want a Russian military base in his country.

Lukashenka, who frequently mixes praise and criticism of both the West and Belarus’s giant eastern neighbor, Russia, was speaking to a group of U.S. experts and analysts in Minsk on November 6.

“The Belarusian armed forces are capable of providing security and performing their duties much better than any other country, including the Russian Federation,” Lukashenka said.

“That is why today I see no need to invite some other countries, including Russia, to the territory of Belarus, to perform our duties. That is why we are absolutely against having foreign military bases, especially military air bases,” he said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans to station warplanes in Belarus in 2013, but they have not been deployed and the issue remains under discussion.

In January 2018, media reports in Russia and Belarus said that a Russian Air Force regiment that Moscow had planned to station in Belarus would instead be located in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad.

Lukashenka told his audience that Belarus was “a European country” that is interested in “a strong and united Europe,” adding that Europe today is “a major pillar of our planet.”

“God forbid somebody ruins it…. We are certain that regional security [in Europe] depends on the cohesion of the region’s states and preservation of the United States’ military and political role in the European arena,” Lukashenka said.

“Belarus is eager to build an equal dialogue with all sides via reinstating normal ties with the United States, supporting good neighborly ties with the European Union, and widening partnership with NATO,” he said. “We support more openness and development of mutual understanding in order to strengthen regional security.”

An authoritarian leader who has ruled Belarus since 1994, Lukashenka has sought to strike a balance between Russia, which he depicts as both an ally and a threat, and the EU and NATO to the west. He has stepped up his emphasis on Belarusian sovereignty and expressions of concern about Moscow’s intentions since Russia seized Crimea and backed armed separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The EU eased sanctions against Belarus in 2016 after the release of several people considered political prisoners, but has criticized Lukashenka’s government for a violent clampdown on demonstrators protesting an unemployment tax in March 2017.

Belarus and Russia are joined in a union state that exists mainly on paper, and their militaries have close ties — though Lukashenka has resisted Russian efforts to beef up its military presence in Belarus, which lies between Russia and the NATO states.

The countries have held joint military exercises including the major Zapad-2017 (West-2017) war games.

Belarus is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EES) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, regional groupings observers say Russian President Vladimir Putin uses to seek to bolster Moscow’s influence in the former Soviet Union and counter the EU and NATO.
04.11.2018 - Belarus, Russia to Respond to Polish plans to Host US Military Base - Lukashenko
Belarus, Russia to Respond to Polish Plans to Host US Military Base – Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that if Poland goes ahead with its plans to increase US military presence on its territory, Belarus and Russia will have to respond to the buildup.

"I told the [Polish] foreign minister — he spoke here in Minsk: we are not going to fight with you. Therefore, there is no need to create unnecessary bases. Otherwise, we along with the Russians will have to respond. It means that we will have to deploy something in order to counteract you, " Lukashenko said, as quoted by the Belta news agency.

The president further underlined that Belarus did not seek any military conflicts and has an exclusively peace-loving foreign policy.

US Military Presence in Poland
That statement was made after on October 26, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told Sputnik that Poland would strengthen military cooperation with the United States, stressing that Warsaw sought the permanent presence of US servicemen in the country. Earlier in the week, Czaputowicz took part in the meeting of the Munich Security Conference in Minsk.

Prior to that, in September, US President Donald Trump said after talks with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, that Washington was considering Warsaw's request to have a permanent US military presence in Poland.

Commenting on this announcement, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that a Polish-US working group had begun studying the possibility of setting up a US military base in Poland.
Belarusian FM Makei and Russian FM Lavrov give joint press conference in Minsk - ENG

Streamed live on Nov 21, 2018 - Conference start @ 46:21 min. mark (1:09:46)

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a joint meeting of Russian and Belarusian foreign ministry collegiums, Minsk, November 21, 2018
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a joint meeting of Russian and Belarusian foreign ministry collegiums, Minsk, November 21, 2018


Mr Makei,

Mr Rapota,


Today we have met for a traditional joint meeting of Russian and Belarusian foreign ministry collegiums. These events are an important part of our close and friendly interaction based on two-year programmes of coordinated foreign policy actions.

Next year we will mark the 20th anniversary of the Union State Treaty. In this connection, the High Level Group of the Union State Council of Ministers, which met in Minsk on November 14, has instructed the foreign ministries of Russia and Belarus to hold joint collegium meetings to discuss the implementation of the Union State Treaty. I think we can discuss the implementation of the current Programme of Coordinated Foreign Policy Actions at the next meeting of our collegiums, which will be held in Russia, and also sign a new programme for the next two years and submit this for the approval by our heads of state.

Russia and Belarus are allies who coordinate their actions on the international stage. We are also working consistently to enhance the prestige of integration associations within the CIS and to create a Euro-Atlantic architecture of equal and indivisible security and collegiate resistance to new challenges and threats based firmly on international law.

We attach great importance to the preservation of our common history. This is why we are seriously concerned about the dangerous trend of distorting the events of the Great Patriotic War and World War II. Attempts are made again and again to justify or even glorify Nazis and their henchmen and to revise the decisions of the Nuremberg Trials. It is alarming that these attempts to falsify history have been compounded by Russophobia, which has almost become a state ideology in some European countries.

In this situation, we must work together, as Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei has pointed out, to continue to consistently combat these destructive plans, using all the available political and legal instruments for this purpose. What we need is a comprehensive approach, which means combining the potentials of our diplomats, MPs, the academic community and the general public. Today we will map out the steps we must take to improve our coordination in this sphere. We discussed these topics at a meeting with Mr Makei yesterday evening. We have agreed, in particular, to prepare a series of special events on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II.

Moscow and Minsk are working energetically to improve the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and strengthen its ties with other countries and their integration associations. Our focus is now on the alignment of the EAEU and China’s Belt and Road initiative in accordance with the decision taken at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in November 2015. The EAEU and China signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation in Astana on May 17, 2018. We continue to draft a Russia-China Eurasian Economic Partnership Agreement, which will be open for signature by all EAEU states and other interested countries.

In this context we should start implementing President Vladimir Putin’s initiative on creating a Greater Eurasian Partnership comprising EAEU, the SCO and ASEAN countries. This association will be open to all other countries on the Eurasian continent, including EU states. This partnership can eventually become the framework of a common trade and economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast ensuring economic connectivity in this part of the world.

I would like to express my support for the idea of developing close ties between the secretariats of the concerned integration associations, which Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has put forth. I believe that the OSCE could become the venue for discussing initiatives on harmonising various integration processes.

International information security, which we will be discussing today, is becoming a priority topic on the global agenda. Russia and Belarus see eye to eye on this topic and have been working together regarding this on the main multilateral platforms, first of all the UN. We are grateful to our Belarusian friends for traditionally co-authoring Russia-proposed draft resolutions of the UN General Assembly on the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the digital sphere and on combating cybercrime. Our bilateral relations are based on the Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in International Information Security.

We will also bring up humanitarian cooperation today, including close coordination of our actions at multilateral culture, research and education forums, as well as human rights venues. One of the clear priorities is our work with young people. Our presidents discussed this subject at length at the Fifth Forum of the Regions of Russia and Belarus, which was held in Mogilev in October. The Union State of Russia and Belarus must offer the youth in Russia and Belarus the broadest possible opportunities for professional, educational and cultural development. I hope our foreign ministries will find a way to contribute towards this.

I am grateful for the traditional hospitality accorded to us upon our arrival in Belarus.
To help explain the strategic importance of Belarus in Europe and its general location to those not familiar with its geography, below are a few maps, (at least as long as the image mirroring function is working for the sites)
From File:Europe-Belarus (orthographic projection).svg - Wikipedia There is this projection which helps to keep things in perspective.


Zooming in to find the location of Belarus in Europe there is a map from

Still closer and with names of countries bordering Belarus, there is a map from Notice the short distance between the Russian Kaliningrad Region on the Baltic Sea, about a 100 km to the North West of the corner border between Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. Notice also the long border with Ukraine.

From Yandex Maps with names in Cyrillic letters click:,53.531205&z=7
And with some roads added click,trfe&ll=27.671183,54.267608&z=6

Interestingly enough the Via Michelin map ViaMichelin : Itinéraires, Cartes, Info trafic, Météo et Réservation d'hôtels en France et en Europe is not very detailed about Belarus at the time of posting.

On the Wikipedia one can read that there Belarus has 207.600 km2 (slightly less than 1/3 of France) with about 9.5 million people and a population density of about 50/km^2. The population is distributed as follows:
On this site in Russian, there are many pictures of beautiful buildings and places in Belarus.
The next map from the above site shows the location of a few Castles and great churches:

Here is a short Youtube of the changing borders and flags of Belarus over the last 250 years
12.01.2018 - Russian PM congratulates Belarusian PM on his birthday
Russian PM congratulates Belarusian PM on his birthday

The cabinet of ministers specified that "the prime ministers discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and practical coordination in the Union State".

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has congratulated Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas on his birthday and discussed bilateral cooperation with him, the Russian government’s press service reported on Saturday.

"Dmitry Medvedev and the Belarusian prime minister discussed bilateral cooperation. During the telephone conversation Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas on his birthday," the report says.

The cabinet of ministers specified that "the prime ministers discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and practical coordination in the Union State."

Rumas has served as Belarusian prime minister since mid-August. Before this time, he headed the Development Bank.
The following might be an example of Western NGO active in Belarus:
The German Marshall Fund of the United States – European Foundation Centre has

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is an American public policy and grantmaking institution
dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the US and Europe. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington DC, GMF has six offices in Europe: Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest. GMF also has smaller representations in Bratislava, Turin, and Stockholm.
And with regard to Belarus, the activities are described as:
The Fund for Belarus Democracy makes support available to, enabling them to resist the pressures of a dictatorial regime and work towards its democratization. Support under this program is provided through small grants, cross-border cooperation, capacity-building, and international advocacy

The German Marshall Fund supports citizen initiatives, independent media, and human rights groups in their pursuit of democracy. This comes in the form of small grants, cross-border cooperation, capacity building and international advocacy.
December 22, 2018 - Russia's speaker calls for development of parliamentary dimension of Russia-Belarus Union
Russia’s speaker calls for development of parliamentary dimension of Russia-Belarus Union

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, the format of an international event initiated by Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Russia and Belarus should be considered as well.

MOSCOW - Speaker of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin believes a parliamentary dimension of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, including at international platforms, should be given an impetus.

"We need to develop the parliamentary dimension of the Union State," Volodin said on Saturday at a meeting of the 55th Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Simultaneously, he admitted the issues should be worked out between the two Foreign Ministries.

According to Volodin, the format of an international event initiated by Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Russia and Belarus should be considered as well, and might include the formation of a unified legal space and harmonization of legislation in the fields of cooperation between Moscow and Minsk.
December 25, 2018 - Talks between Russian, Belarusian presidents begin in Moscow
Talks between Russian, Belarusian presidents begin in Moscow

The issues on the agenda include the pricing of Russian natural gas.


© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko have begun a new round of talks in the Kremlin. There are a number of issues on the agenda, including the pricing of Russian natural gas. Belarus seeks for ways to offset the losses it will face in the wake of Russia’s oil tax maneuver, while Russia is concerned about violations of customs laws.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier that "there are some nuances [concerning the tax maneuver] in their approaches that are to be discussed."

The two presidents will also compare their stances on the whole range of bilateral matters, including the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, Peskov said, adding that a large part of the meeting would take place behind closed doors.

Tax maneuver
On December 24, the Belarusian president said at a meeting dedicated to pressing cooperation issues that Moscow had rejected all suggestions Minsk had made concerning gas prices and ways to offset financial losses. "We were supposed to resolve all issues related to gas prices by the middle of the year, in St. Petersburg Vladimir Putin and I agreed to resolve all issues stemming from the tax maneuver. However, Russia rejected all of our suggestions and the deadline was not met," Lukahsenko said.

Russian government sources, in turn, said that there had never been no agreement saying that Russia would offset Belarus’s financial losses caused by the tax maneuver.

Minsk wants Russia to offset its financial losses as the tax maneuver will take oil prices for Belarusian oil refineries higher.

Violations of customs laws
Moscow is concerned about regular violations of the common customs laws of Russia and Belarus, including the import of banned and excisable goods to Russia, First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said earlier.

According to him, Belarus did not fully comply with the 1999 agreement, which implies that the two countries should outline common tax, customs, monetary and economic policies. In this regard, he pointed out that no common currency had been introduced so far.
Sergei Lavrov held a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 - today, January 16th. In the "Question and Answer" format that followed after his Introductory speech, there was a question concerning Belarus:

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2018 Moscow, January 16, 2019


Question: What do you think about the further development of the Union State after fairly strong statements by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko? What further steps could be taken if one side is obviously against this?

Sergey Lavrov: I am simply surprised at the din in the media and elsewhere over this issue.

The Treaty on the Establishment of the Union State is an open document. It was possible to read it immediately after signing. It is also possible to refresh memories about it now. The document contains many ideas that united us and encouraged us to establish a union state at that time. The treaty provided for the adoption of the Constitutional Act, the formation of the Union Parliament, and the establishment of the Court of the Union State. At that time Moscow and Minsk agreed to all this of their own free will.

However, it became clear with the passage of time that the formation of a common constitution, common parliament and common court was not yet possible. But we do not insist on this, either.

During the recent contacts of our presidents in December (three December meetings) our team and our Belarusian colleagues discussed those provisions of the treaty that concern strictly practical economic and trade issues, as distinct from a common constitution, parliament and court. I am referring to the treaty’s provisions on creating a common monetary unit and common credit and tax policies. They are directly linked with economic and financial relations within the Union State.

We had no disagreements with our Belarusian colleagues on how to take these strictly practical steps. As you heard, a working group headed by the economy ministers of Russia and Belarus was set up at the decision of our presidents. The group has been authorised to deal directly with the issues I have just mentioned. We are not inventing anything. Considering that our Belarusian colleagues are interested in many matters related to setting economic, monetary, credit and tax policies, we are asking them to look for ways of bringing closer our positions on the issues that were supposed to be resolved by the treaty 20 years ago and that directly concern the problems that Belarus wants to see resolved, including the so-called “tax manoeuver.”

I hope that pragmatism will prevail over the attempts to look at this routine situation as reflecting some geopolitical plans inside or outside the Union State.
SOCHI, February 15, 2019 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko played ice hockey on Friday at the Shayba Arena in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

Putin and Lukashenko in one team hitting ice in Sochi for ice hockey match

Putin and Lukashenko take to the ice on same team for Sochi hockey match

Both presidents were wearing red and white jerseys playing for team Tigers against team Bears, dressed in blue and red uniforms. Putin was wearing jersey No. 11, while Lukashenko’s jersey is No. 1. Nikolai Lukashenko, the son of the Belarusian president was also on the ice, wearing jersey No. 1 as well.

The match was not official
and therefore there are no spectators at the stands except for accredited journalists working at the Investment Forum in Sochi.Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists earlier in the day that Putin and Lukashenko were most likely to play ice hockey after their bilateral meeting at the Educational Center Sirius.

"Both leaders will continue their contacts today in various formats and we think it is possible that they would decide to play ice hockey later in the afternoon," Peskov said adding that the Russian president "feels marvelous" although he sustained a slight injury last night during a judo practice.

Putin attended a judo training in the ‘Yug Sport’ center in Sochi late on Thursday and sparred with several Olympic champions. A finger on his right hand was slightly injured in the process, but the problem was solved with a piece of adhesive bandage, and the training continued.The 66-year-old Russian president, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, is a black belt holder in judo and he regularly practices.




Lukashenko’s participation in the summit meeting has nothing to do with the Syrian settlement issue, the Kremlin said.

Feb. 14, 2019 - Belarusian leader joins Russia-Iran-Turkey talks in Sochi

Belarusian leader joins Russia-Iran-Turkey talks in Sochi

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

Earlier, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained to journalists that Lukashenko’s participation in the summit meeting has nothing to do with the Syrian settlement issue. "This is not related to the Astana format, they just took an opportunity of being all together in the same city," he said.

Peskov said the Russian president had envisaged "such a possibility for Lukashenko to communicate with his colleagues availing of his stay in Sochi at the same time".

Peskov also said earlier that on Thursday, Putin will continue talks with his Belarusian counterpart. On Wednesday, the two leaders already had talks and also hit ski slopes in Sochi. He also told reporters on the same day that the two leaders would continue contacts on February 14 and even on February 15.

After the three-way summit on Thursday, the Russian, Turkish and Iranian presidents passed a joint statement of 17 points that summarize the developments in Sochi since their previous meeting on September 7, 2018. The presidents resolved to strengthen coordination in line with the existing agreements. The Turkish president offered to host a next three-party summit on Syria.
Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko told reporters on Friday he was likely to run for re-election.

March 1, 2019 - Belarus President Lukashenko says likely to run for another term

Belarus president Lukashenko says likely to run for another term
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during "Big Talk" news conference in Minsk, Belarus March 1, 2019.  Nikolay Petrov/BelTA/Pool via REUTERS
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during "Big Talk" news conference in Minsk, Belarus March 1, 2019. Nikolay Petrov/BelTA/Pool via REUTERS

His presidential term ends in 2020, and he said he would decide on the date of the next election in the next couple of months.
Lithuanian prime minister Saulius Skvernelis will ask Belarus to convert its Russian-built nuclear power plant to gas provided by Lithuania's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and a planned gas link between Lithuania and Poland.

Lithuania to ask Belarus to switch nuclear plant to gas
FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis speaks during the commemoration of victims and award ceremony of the Righteous Among the Nations at the Paneriai Memorial in Vilnius, Lithuania August 24, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis speaks during the commemoration of victims and award ceremony of the Righteous Among the Nations at the Paneriai Memorial in Vilnius, Lithuania August 24, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The nearly-completed nuclear plant has long been viewed as a threat to its safety and national security by Lithuania, which says it is not built to the highest safety standards, an allegation which is denied by Belarus.

Astravets, which is near the border with Lithuania, is being built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport and financed with a $10 billion loan from by Moscow. It expects to have the first of its two 1.2 gigawatt VVER 1200 reactors online this year and the next one in 2020.

“It’s up to Belarus to make a choice: to keep on having an energy sector which depends on the policies of a single country, or to make a strategic change,” Skvernelis said on Monday, without naming Russia, the dominant supplier of energy to Belarus.

Skvernelis, who has thrown his hat into the ring for Lithuania’s president election in May, said that about 60 percent of the nuclear power plant’s infrastructure could be reused for the proposed gas power plant.

The Lithuanian LNG terminal in Klaipeda mainly imports gas for domestic consumption, using between a fifth and a third of its annual capacity of 2.7 million tonnes of LNG, but hopes to double the flows once gas pipelines to Poland and Finland open after 2021.

Belarus lifts decade-old restriction on U.S. diplomats
Belarus lifted a restriction on the number of U.S. diplomats allowed on its territory that had been in force since 2008, a move aimed at improving ties with Washington, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.
President added that during his address to the country and the parliament earlier his week he warned that those who dare use force to encroach on the country’s sovereignty would face a pushback.

April 20, 2019 - Lukashenko says he views Russia as stronghold of Belarusian sovereignty

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko © Ekaterina Shtukina/Government Press Service of Russia/TASS

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has emphasized Russia’s role in maintained independency of Belarus addressing certain Russian politicians regarding their comments on his statements about the country’s sovereignty.

"Certain politicians, particularly in Russia, should not be suffering. I have received all that information ‘Oh, it is against Russia!’ Those phrases were targeted against those who are trying to do that, which is first. Second, I am saying candidly that Russia is, in a manner of speaking, a stronghold of our sovereignty as well," he was quoted as saying by the BelTA news agency on Saturday.

President added that during his address to the country and the parliament earlier his week he warned that those who dare use force to encroach on the country’s sovereignty would face a pushback.

April 19, 2019 - Lukashenko offers to hold Belarusian parliamentary election in 2019
According to the election calendar, the Belarusian presidential election must take place no later than August 30, 2020, while the parliamentary election - no later than September 6 of that year.

The Belarusian parliamentary election will be held in November 2019, while the presidential one will take place in 2020, the republic’s president Alexander Lukashenko said during his address to the Belarusian parliament on Friday.

"This year, the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (Belarusian Parliament - TASS) will take place," the president said.

"I will not look for any benefit to stay in power. <…> The presidential election must take place in 2020," he said. "They will take place in 2020, no matter what happens in our country in strict accordance with the law on the stipulated date."

According to the election calendar, the Belarusian presidential election must take place no later than August 30, 2020, while the parliamentary election must be held no later than September 6, 2020. However, chair of the Belarusian Central Election Commission Lydia Yermoshina stated earlier that it would be advisable to hold one of the campaigns in 2019.

April 19, 2019 - Belarusian leader speaks in support of updated Constitution
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

© Maxim Guchek/BelTA/TASS

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stressed the need to update the country’s constitution, so that the next Belarusian leader would have a new constitution to work with, he said during his annual address to the Belarusian parliament on Friday.

"People often ask me: would you like to leave this Constitution to your successor? I say clearly and honestly: no. We are already past this stage when we need power as strong as it is," Lukashenko noted.

"We have to give authority to other structures and branches of power. For example, so that the government along with the parliament would be responsible for the economy," the Belarusian leader said.

Lukashenko added that he would not attempt to stay in power after his presidential tenure. "I think of my country’s future, not of personal power," he stressed.

The Belarusian leader added that the new Constitution would be a natural continuation of the current one.
The decision to appoint Stanislav Zas will be taken in autumn during the session of the CSTO Heads of State Council.

Belarusian security chief nominated to lead post-Soviet security bloc
BISHKEK, May 22, 2019 - The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Foreign Ministers Council has nominated Belarusian Security Secretary Stanislav Zas for the position of CSTO secretary general, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Chingiz Aidarbekov stated on Wednesday during the council’s session.

"In accordance with the proposal, Zas will assume the position of CSTO secretary general from January 1, 2020," the minister said.
"The decision to appoint Zas will be taken in autumn during the session of the CSTO Heads of State Council," the organization told TASS.

Top diplomats of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are taking part in the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council held in Bishkek on Wednesday. The Russian delegation is headed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Belarus has agreed to the appointment of Dmitry Mezentsev as Ambassador to Belarus, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Thursday as quoted by BelTA news agency.

Belarus agrees to Dmitry Mezentsev candidacy for Russian ambassador
In reply to the question whether the Russian side had obtained agrement from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, the minister said: "All necessary formal procedures linked to the appointment of the ambassador have been performed".

Pantsyr-S missile system
Belarus eager to buy Russian-made Pantsyr, Tor air defense missile systems

Belarus shows interest in buying Russian-made air defense systems, including Pantsyr surface-to-air missile/gun complexes and Tor systems of various modifications, Head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev told TASS at the HeliRussia-2019 exhibition on Friday.

"Today, Russian-made air defense systems, Pantsyr and Tor complexes of various modifications and, undoubtedly, Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters are in demand in Belarus. The Ansat helicopter also evokes big interest, considering its characteristics and its price. This also refers to the Ka-226 helicopter and small arms," Mikheyev said as he summed up the results of the work of the Rosoboronexport delegation at the Milex-2019 arms show in Belarus.

In Belarus, Russia has many partners that are engaged in cooperation with all Russian enterprises, which produce aircraft, helicopters and the armor, the chief executive said.

"That is why, the Milex exhibition has a professional tinge from the viewpoint of the meetings of engineers, specialists and producers of first-and second-tier cooperation," the Rosoboronexport head said.

The Milex-2019 international arms show runs in Minsk on May 15-18. The exposition of Russian enterprises covers an area of over 500 sq. m. The Russian defense manufacturers Almaz-Antey, Rosoboronexport, Uralvagonzavod and Tecmash have put their products on display at the Milex exhibition.
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