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Belarus-Russia Unification?

Russia Belarus annexation

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#1 Panzermann

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0412 AM

Instead of having a successor he wants to fold his country? :huh:

 

 

 
Feb. 15 2019 - 18:02

We're Ready to Unite With Russia, Belarus Leader Lukashenko Says

 

Belarus is ready to merge with Russia, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on the third and last day of his bilateral talks with President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

Rumors resurfaced this year that Russia could annex Belarus as Putin’s constitutional term limits bar him from running for the presidency in 2024.

 

“The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem,” Lukashenko said in a video shared by a Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid Kremlin reporter on Twitter Friday.

“But are you – Russians and Belarussians – ready for it?” Lukashenko said as quoted by Interfax. “We’re ready to unite and consolidate our efforts, states and peoples as far as we’re ready.”

Putin, meanwhile, stressed that “fully independent states simply do not exist in the world,” bringing the European Union as an example of interdependence. 

The Russian president has voiced support for Russia to unite with Belarus as early as 2011.

 

 

 

https://themoscowtim...enko-says-64517
 

 

Лукашенко рассказал, как далеко Белоруссия и Россия готовы зайти в вопросе объединения

Продолжая тему, Путин заявил, что полностью независимых государств в мире не существует

 

Москва. 15 февраля. INTERFAX.RU - Белоруссия и Россия готовы настолько идти по пути объединения, насколько к этому готовы народы обеих стран, заявил президент Белорусси Александр Лукашенко после переговоров с Владимиром Путиным в Сочи.

"Нет у нас проблем с суверенитетом, мы даже в этом контексте не обсуждаем этих проблем, мы исходим из того, что сегодня есть два государства (...) Дело здесь не в суверенитете. И я думаю, что мой коллега и мой друг со мной согласится, мы готовы настолько идти далеко в единении, объединении наших усилий, государств и народов, на сколько вы готовы. Мы завтра можем объединиться - у нас проблем нет. Но готовы ли вы - россияне и белорусы - на это? Вопрос", - сказал Лукашенко журналистам.

 

Продолжая тему, Путин заявил, что суверенитет и независимость - это близкие понятия.

"Полностью независимых государств в мире просто не существует. Современный мир - это мир взаимозависимости", - сказал российский президент.

Он привел в качестве примера интеграцию стран Западной Европы.

"Там Европарламент принимает обязательных для исполнения всеми членами решений больше, чем Верховный Совет СССР в свое время принимал таких решений для союзных республик. Это что, не зависимость?", - отметил Путин.

"Что, думаете кто-то из европейских стран хочет, чтобы американские ракеты средней дальности появились в Европе? Да никто не хочет. Но сидят, помалкивают. Где их суверенитет? Но, видимо, они считают, что в конечном итоге, генеральном, они заинтересованы в такой организации, в которую они вложили часть своего суверенитета" - сказал он.

 

 

Lukashenko told how far Belarus and Russia are ready to go in the matter of unification

 

Moscow. February 15. INTERFAX.RU - Belarus and Russia are ready to follow the path of unification as much as the peoples of both countries are ready for it, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko after negotiations with Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

"We do not have problems with sovereignty, we do not even discuss these problems in this context, we proceed from the fact that today there are two states (...) It is not about sovereignty. And I think that my colleague and my friend will agree with me, we are ready to go as far as you are willing to go in uniting, uniting our efforts, states and peoples. We can unite tomorrow - we have no problems. But are you Russians and Belarusians ready for this? The question," said Lukashenko to journalists.

Continuing the topic, Putin said that sovereignty and independence are close concepts.

"There are no completely independent states in the world. The modern world is a world of interdependence," said the Russian president.

He cited the integration of Western European countries as an example.

"There, the European Parliament adopts more binding decisions by all members than the USSR Supreme Soviet once did for the Union republics. Is this not an addiction?" Putin said.

"What, do you think one of the European countries wants American medium-range missiles to appear in Europe? No one wants to. But they sit and keep silent. Where is their sovereignty? But, apparently, they believe that in the end, in general, they are interested in such an organization, in which they have invested part of their sovereignty," he said.

 

https://www.interfax.ru/world/650740


Edited by Panzermann, 17 February 2019 - 0415 AM.

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#2 Panzermann

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0421 AM

OTOH in Decembre he said:

 

 
Lukashenka Says Belarus Will Never Be Part Of Russia

 

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says his country will never be part of the Russian Federation.

Speaking to Russian journalists in Minsk on December 14, Lukashenka said that "sovereignty is sacred" for Belarus.

"If someone wants to break [Belarus] into regions and force us to become a subject of Russia, that will never happen," Lukashenka said.

Lukashenka accused Moscow of attempting "to incorporate" Belarus into Russia using oil and gas leverage.

"I understand the hints [by Moscow] saying, 'OK, take our oil but for that destroy your statehood and become part of Russia'... It is useless to blackmail Belarus, to bend it, [to choke us]," Lukashenka said.

Lukashenka also criticized Russian media for presenting Ukraine's pro-Western leadership as enemies.

"I know Ukrainians. They are not enemies. They are not as bad as you present them on your [television] channels. It is time to stop doing that. Nobody [believes] that anymore," Lukashenka said.

(...)

 

https://www.rferl.or...a/29656460.html


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#3 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0449 AM

Yes, I just posted this up on the Cold War thread, but it probably warrants a thread to itself, so many thanks for that.

 

Its hard to know what is being discussed here. Is this something akin to a Russian version of the EU or closer to the old USSR? Its difficult to tell at present, because Putin has exploited both tracks in his time. I will say you can look on the Foreign Military Studies Office for an article called 'Can Belarus escape the Russia trap' and you can see that this concern dates back even before Crimea. Closer integration with Belarus is something Russia has been angling for, for years. And Lukashenko has being trying, and most succeeding, in exploiting leaning east and west.

 

If it happens, and its an Anschluss, its very, very bad news for NATO indeed, because it completely changes the picture of Eastern Europe. Not so much because of the forces, because Belarus has limited military capablity. Far more because of the ground and the airbases they have. A swift look at the map shows it makes Lithuania's position considerably more perilous. And Polands ability to intervene in the Baltic states is curbed decisively, because they have to put a considerable degree of their forces down their eastern border covering Belarus.

 

Lets hope it comes to nothing, and this is just a diplomatic game hyped up to be more than it is. I will say this, ive been expecting something like this for the past 6 months, which  doesnt bode well.


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#4 BansheeOne

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0626 AM

I think I just saw a submarine techno thriller written by Patrick Robinson on that premise. :D


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#5 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0632 AM

Belarus submarines? I should like to read that one. :)


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#6 BansheeOne

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0716 AM

If Belarus can into Russia, it will have submarines, comrade!

 

I was wrong actually, what I saw was "Arctic Gambit" by Larry Bond, from his Jerry Mitchell series. And I think it was a Ukraine-style takeover by little green men. Involved Russian nuclear supertorpedoes as well from what I gleaned.

 

To not crash the thread completely before it got going in finest TankNet tradition, unification with Russia would indeed change things considerably. Belarus has so far been a big uncertainty factor in NATO defense planning - if Putin got a bug up his ass, would it remain neutral, allow Russian troops to pass through, resist the attempt, or join forces? If it tied itself to Russia, suddenly NATO would have to contend with a vastly extended likely frontline along Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.


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#7 JasonJ

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0732 AM

Belarus would be better served as a buffer for Russia I would think.
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#8 Roman Alymov

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0741 AM

Instead of having a successor he wants to fold his country? :huh:

 

 
 

 

Nothing interesting here actually  - just another attempt by Lukashenko to continue his practice of "sitting on two chairs"  - pumping USD billions from Russian subject but distancing from Russia at every opportunity.  This time, he want to negotiate trade benefits as new Russian taxation system change might affect profitable oil trade (Belarus was able to buy Russian oil by internal Russian price and then resell oil and oil products abroad with good profit - under new taxation system internal price would be more close to external one, cutting Belarus profit).  Putin is clearly demonstrating he see Lukashenko game plan and is skeptical about it

Regarding "Instead of having a successor" - actually successor is still here

Note 3rd person (in blue jacket and closed helmet) riding between Lukashenko and Putin, and mostly avoiding cameras
04-1.jpg
It is Lukashenko's sun Nikolay (mostly known by short version of his name  - Kolya), who is widely believed to be President Lukashenko's  desired successorк, who was taking part in next to every Lukashenko meeting. . There is popular joke in Russian "Доколи Лукашенко будет править?" - "До Коли" , game of words here since "Доколи" is "until what time (Likashenko will stay in power)" and " До Коли" is "Until Kolya (mature)"

122597.jpg
1733171_original.jpg
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kolya-lukashenko15.jpg
luko1.jpg
CqrwpYXWEAA29v3.jpg

000343_2b40a8850148f1848fda2d4ea64ac176.


Edited by Roman Alymov, 17 February 2019 - 0742 AM.

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#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0744 AM

If Belarus can into Russia, it will have submarines, comrade!

 

I was wrong actually, what I saw was "Arctic Gambit" by Larry Bond, from his Jerry Mitchell series. And I think it was a Ukraine-style takeover by little green men. Involved Russian nuclear supertorpedoes as well from what I gleaned.

 

To not crash the thread completely before it got going in finest TankNet tradition, unification with Russia would indeed change things considerably. Belarus has so far been a big uncertainty factor in NATO defense planning - if Putin got a bug up his ass, would it remain neutral, allow Russian troops to pass through, resist the attempt, or join forces? If it tied itself to Russia, suddenly NATO would have to contend with a vastly extended likely frontline along Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Wooh, it just got on my read list. :)

 

It might be recalled I made a TOAW scenario where, if Belarus intervened, you suddenly had an issue about stopping a Russian drive on Warsaw, which is not a considerable distance. Which even if they didnt do it, is a threat the Poles understandably are going to be take seriously.

It also makes Lithuania have to deal with a 2 threat Axis, whereas presently they only have to worry about anything that goes north out of Kaliningrad, or gets through Latvia. I seem to recall that Vilnius is only about 30 or so kilometres from the Belarus border, and its got easier access than it is to western forces heading east, the approach of  which are badly cut by small lakes. You then have the question of 'Suwalki Gap', which is going to likely be an even greater focus for Poland, than deploying units into Lithuania.If Belarus for whatever reason becomes open to Russian forces, then its an entirely new level of threat.

 

There is the question that, if they did present that level of threat, how NATO would handle what would be  likely greatly raised expenditure to meet it. Im not sure the Americans would be enthused about Forward deploying the 2 ACR to cover another border, even if the Poles paid for it.

 

Well, it may all turn out to be hype, and these are unnecesssary concerns. But then that would have been a reasonable position to take before Crimea. So.....


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 17 February 2019 - 0746 AM.

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#10 Roman Alymov

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0755 AM


If it happens, and its an Anschluss, its very, very bad news for NATO indeed, because it completely changes the picture of Eastern Europe.

I was told here many times that when NATO was approaching Russian borders - it was good; why potential Russian approach to NATO borders is bad? :)  When Baltic countries  and Poland and others joined NATO - wasn't it " completely changing the picture of Eastern Europe"?


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#11 JasonJ

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0800 AM

 


If it happens, and its an Anschluss, its very, very bad news for NATO indeed, because it completely changes the picture of Eastern Europe.

I was told here many times that when NATO was approaching Russian borders - it was good; why potential Russian approach to NATO borders is bad? :)  When Baltic countries  and Poland and others joined NATO - wasn't it " completely changing the picture of Eastern Europe"?

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, the typical answer is "the other countries wanted to join NATO and the door was open for even Russia to join" and each time, I don't recall a good rebuttal to it. But its a young thread and nothing like that to get it into a good 4 or 5 pages in.


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#12 Roman Alymov

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0812 AM

I do not think any unification is coming (unless Lukashenko elected President of Russia - can't rule it out as he is the only politician on entire post-Soviet space more popular in Russia than Putin himself). Most people in Russia do not understand "Belorussian economic miracle" is paid for by Russian taxpayers - but people see country without oligarchs (Belorussian rich people keep low profile, no yachts, rich kids on expensive cars, football clubs in England etc), without ethnic tensions, with most of Soviet production and infrastructure supported, agriculture flourishing, income distribution way more even compared to Russia and so on. Belorussians enjoy all the same rights in Russia as Russian citizens - employment etc. (for some time even Kubinka tank museum was employing former Belorussian Army officer, relatively young guy who was living in one of restoration hangar rooms to save rent, but driving huge US-made  SUV as he was not paying taxation on it as foreign citizen). I think current situation is more or less comfortable for both sides  - of course Russia would like more return from its investments in Belorussia, but it is hardly possible under prudent Lukashenko rule. It does not mean further unification is impossible (after all, Lukashenko claimed he was  the sole member of Soviet Belorussia parliament who voted against Belovejsky agreement to finish USSR, despite it is desputed by another participants who claimed it was their vote - nobody know for sure as vote was not open one) but unlikely, as very existence of Belorussian economic model is based on using contradictions between Russia and West.


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#13 Roman Alymov

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0817 AM

 


 

If I'm not mistaken, the typical answer is "the other countries wanted to join NATO and the door was open for even Russia to join" and each time, I don't recall a good rebuttal to it. But its a young thread and nothing like that to get it into a good 4 or 5 pages in.

 

Then if "the other countries wanted to join Eurasian Union and the door is open for US" is also good, no reason to claim it is bad :)


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 0819 AM

Im not being led. Is a hypothetical.


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#15 bd1

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 1143 AM

 

Instead of having a successor he wants to fold his country? :huh:

 

 
 

 

Nothing interesting here actually  - just another attempt by Lukashenko to continue his practice of "sitting on two chairs"  - pumping USD billions from Russian subject but distancing from Russia at every opportunity.  This time, he want to negotiate trade benefits as new Russian taxation system change might affect profitable oil trade (Belarus was able to buy Russian oil by internal Russian price and then resell oil and oil products abroad with good profit - under new taxation system internal price would be more close to external one, cutting Belarus profit).  Putin is clearly demonstrating he see Lukashenko game plan and is skeptical about it

 

 

just as a side note - if Moderator decides to delete this post as irrelevant to the thread, it´s OK,  Lukashenka and his rope-walking/russia-milking  skills made him probably the role model for great part of russians in baltic states. plus all the leftover soviet stuff that is still alive in belarus stirred their nostalgia. and he provided them a background system they could easily understand and like , unlike western-style democracy or russian-style democracy


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#16 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 1149 AM

One thing that Russia probably would welcome back would be the Special Forces Brigade they lost when the Union split, 5 Spetsnaz Brigade IIRC. They were specializing in paraglider insertion and other interesting techniques. Reputedly they arent bad now.

 

The rest of the armed forces has been restructured into Brigades. Mainly T80BV's, but there was a mobile brigade made up of BTR80's. There are a few squadrons of Mig29's and Su27's, although the latter havent flown in over a decade and its unclear they could be brought back to life if someone threw money at them. I cant remember what they have for artillery, but they have at least one SS21 unit. In retrograde in Russia of course, but still a nice bit of kit.

 

So its useful kit, but not really giving them much they dont already have. The manoeuvre space though would be invaluable. It gives them plenty of options against the Balts, the Poles or the Ukrainians. And I think the Ukrainians are going to feel REALLY threatened by it.


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#17 Nobu

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 1215 PM

They should be, as the unexpected appearance of a threat from the north in the same area has historically not been kind to them in various ways.


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#18 Roman Alymov

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 1239 PM

One thing that Russia probably would welcome back would be the Special Forces Brigade they lost when the Union split, 5 Spetsnaz Brigade IIRC. They were specializing in paraglider insertion and other interesting techniques. Reputedly they arent bad now.

 

Any unit lost during Union split is gone now - as after 25+ years all people are retired or in General ranks. Belorussian citizens are allowed to serve in Russian army so we could safely assume everybody who was willing to - is already in (more over, Belorussian pro-Western liberals are complaining about Belorussians recruited into Rus Army).  Modern Belorussian army is small but well fit for the theater and threats they face
Article (in Russian, dating 2015) about Belorussian army https://regnum.ru/ne...it/1964893.html

 

 

 

 

 

So its useful kit, but not really giving them much they dont already have. The manoeuvre space though would be invaluable. It gives them plenty of options against the Balts, the Poles or the Ukrainians. And I think the Ukrainians are going to feel REALLY threatened by it.

What do you mean " threatened"? They pretend to be in war against Russia and winning  - unfortunately Russian leadership is still failing to take part in this war.

 


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#19 Simon Tan

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 1818 PM

It is only due to bravery of Azov that Russia is deterred.
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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 0355 AM

https://eng.belta.by...eu-118782-2019/

MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – Belarus will always be a reliable partner for the European Union and hopes that this approach in the bilateral relations will be reciprocal, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger on 18 February, BelTA has learned.

“I want to assure you that Belarus always pursues a balanced and well-considered policy in relations with its neighbors. We believe that neighbors are given to us by God, we do not choose them. With this in mind, we will always be a reliable partner for the European Union, and you should not be concerned about the Belarusian direction (almost 1,500 kilometers). Of course, we want such feelings to be reciprocal,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president remarked that the relations between Belarus and the European Union across the board rely on certain principles and are developing in certain directions. “We adopt certain programs and implement certain projects to promote the development of these directions. The financing of such projects by the European Union has increased significantly in recent time. Of course, they are mutually beneficial. Let's move in this direction,” the head of state said.

 

Which on the face of it, doesnt make it sound as if the Anschluss is imminent. OTOH, maybe that's what they want us to think. :ninja:


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