MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian media space has become a place of a tough information war between the West and Russia, analyst of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR) Valentin Starichenok said as he addressed the meeting of the Expert Community project – “Analyzing Belarus: Facts and Fiction” in BelTA's press center on 11 December.
According to him, many analytical reports on Belarus, which have been published in large numbers over the past year, present Russia as an apparent, imminent, and inevitable threat to the country. They do not urge to break the alliance with Russia but call for the renunciation of some commitments. “A very tough information warfare is underway in our media space. There is a flow of propaganda. The West uses analytical reports. Russia's Telegram channels produce a lot of fake news that discredit the country and its authorities,” Valentin Starichenok said. Often both of them use Belarus' sovereignty topic for propaganda purposes.
For his part, Founder and Director of the Minsk Dialogue Council on International Relations Yevgeny Preigerman stressed that Belarus had broken the stereotypes of it being Europe's last dictatorship and the so-called backyard of the Kremlin. “The country was expected to cling to Russia, overlooking its national interests. Belarus, however, behaves differently. Many do not like the idea,” the political scientist said.
“We protect our national interests. We are looking for non-antagonistic points of contact. The region has begun to attract increased attention,” he said. “Tectonic shifts” in the regional geopolitics started after 2014 when the situation in south-eastern Ukraine aggravated. At that moment, Belarus suggested hosting peace talks and put forward peace initiatives. All this contributed to the consolidation of its status as an absolutely autonomous player in international relations.