MINSK, 24 February (BelTA) – The meeting of the presidents of Belarus and Russia reaffirmed the strategic nature of the bilateral relations, Andrei Rusakovich, Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs and National Security Commission of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, told SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper following the Sochi talks between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, BelTA informs.
“The essence of our military and political alliance with Russia has long been clear to Western partners, therefore, closer cooperation means, among other things, the strengthening of the two countries in the domestic and foreign policy dimensions. The meeting of the presidents first of all confirmed the strategic nature of the relations between our countries and reiterated that Belarus and Russia are very important regional players in the field of security, economy, humanitarian field and many other spheres. The union of our states has an impact on the entire region in many ways. First of all, it is appealing to other countries of the post-Soviet space. Of course, the nature of this integration differs from the Western model. Belarus and Russia share the view on the upgrade of the security architecture, especially in the European region. This is also a strong point in our competition with other centers of power. Strengthening of any integration association causes tougher competition from other similar blocs. We just need to take into account, first of all, our own interests and move on,” the expert said.
Associate Professor at the Political Science Department of Belarusian State Economic University Aleksei Belyayev points out to inappropriate response of Western countries to the strategic nature of Belarus-Russia relations.
“When it comes to closer integration of Belarus and Russia, the collective West starts lamenting about the possible loss of sovereignty by our country. Although we have seen that our independence is in fact attacked from a completely different side. Of course, such statements of our neighbors should be treated as unfriendly. If those who are not our friends oppose this process, it means we are doing everything right. The calls of the Belarusian opposition to break off relations with Russia or scale them down were sheer propaganda out of touch with reality. Issues between the two states are addressed through continuous work of appropriate departments and governments, or, like this week, through the talks of the country's leaders,” the analyst stressed.
In his opinion, agreements in the defense sector (a joint grouping of troops and a joint air defense system, joint drills and maneuvers, interaction of the leading military structures) attest not only to a strong friendship, but also a strong alliance between Belarus and Russia.
“Russia remains our priority foreign trade partner, and Belarus is Russia's fourth biggest trading partner despite its relatively small territory and population. Cooperation that can be measured in financial terms proves that nothing unexpected can happen here. There is no desire to change the main partner on either side. Belarus and Russia have been building relations for a quarter of a century on the basis of serious agreements disregarding what someone else wants outside our borders. This work is continuous and involves numerous stakeholders; it will not be possible to disrupt it by loud statements and propaganda actions,” he said.