MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) – The Belarus-Russia Union State helps to maintain, strengthen and protect the sovereignty of the two countries, Professor at Lomonosov Moscow State University, political scientist Andrei Manoilo told the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA informs.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and Russia. According to the political scientist, both countries have come a long way during this period. “Today in Russia we say that we have three allies: the army, the navy and Belarus, and this is true,” Andrei Manoilo emphasized. “Belarus and Russia are connected by the Union State, and this is by no means a fiction. In recent years, the Union State has become not just a common space for integration, economic and cultural exchange, but a solid structure that fulfills a number of important functions for the two states, including the security task,” the expert said.
The political scientist noted that Belarus acts as a reliable defense of Russia's western borders, which is especially important in the current conditions, when NATO troops are standing right on the border of the Union State. To a large extent, it is the allied shield that prevents them from provocations or aggressive moves. Defense is provided by the Armed Forces of Belarus and joint actions of the two countries on the foreign policy contour. “No matter what threats arise in the world, Russia always has Belarus, and Belarus has Russia. And together we will cope with any challenges,” Andrei Manoilo is convinced.
The political scientist emphasized that Belarus is an absolutely sovereign and independent state: “Only the Belarusian people and the Belarusian president determine the country's domestic and foreign policy, today no one can impose any decisions on Belarus, neither the West nor the East. First of all, the credit for this goes to the country's leadership. The Union State is a mechanism that allows the two countries to preserve, protect and strengthen this sovereignty. Had we not had it, we would have also acted in concert at certain points, but in general, we would not have pursued a common policy in international relations, as well as in economy, in cultural exchange. The Union State allows us to develop common positions, concepts and schemes, as well as to implement them. In this respect, it does not limit the sovereignty of Russia or Belarus, but, on the contrary, strengthens it.”
Andrei Manoilo also touched upon the sanctions imposed by the West. According to him, Belarus and Russia have always known that this would not break them. “Over the past few years, we have been jointly resisting this onslaught, and the West really doesn't like it,” the politician said. “The United States and its military and political allies sought to put pressure on each state separately. They did not expect that we would act as a united front against the economic and trade warfare and sanctions. As a result, it turned out that the West is not able to blockade our countries that together have a colossal length of borders, huge reserves of natural resources, as well as tremendous industrial, scientific and technical potential,” he noted.