Anti-Western rhetoric from Belarusian officials continues to escalate, characterising the confrontation between the Belarusian regime and the EU and USA with the EU as a threat to regional security. The danger with such agitprop is that at some degree of escalation, words become actions.
On June 23rd 2021, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktar Khrenin, speaking at the Moscow Security Conference, made several statements:
- A global proxy war has begun to determine the future international order. Transnational and national elites use the internet and social networks to implement a strategy of managed chaos via «colour revolutions» and hybrid wars.
- Economic sanctions are a weapon of hybrid warfare currently deployed by the West against Belarus
- The imposition of EU sanctions against Minsk is motivated by envy. As a genuinely sovereign state, Belarus is an uncomfortable counterpoint to the European countries subject to US occupation.
- Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine trade their sovereignty, offering rabid Russophobia as a commodity and expand the American presence on their territory, contributing to the ongoing militarisation of NATO countries neighbouring Belarus
- Pernicious globalists and transnational corporations are militarising outer space to seize resources.
- Led by the Pentagon, biological studies of a military nature are being taken in laboratories established in post-Soviet countries.
- International organisations such as the UN, OSCE and others have become hostages of donor states, forcing them to align with their politicised agenda, counter to the vital interests of small countries.
- In response, the Belarusian regime will strengthen the regional military cooperation with Russia and further develop the Union State, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union.
- The liquidation of Iranian General Qasem Suleimani is linked to the plot to assassinate Alexander Lukashenka, with the USA being the prime mover behind both.
- Belarus is a springboard for the West to seize the riches of Russia.
This repetition of the most extreme talking points from Kremlin propaganda is not just the position of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense. It reflects the official position of the regime as a whole, as is evident from comments by other highly placed officials to the effect that EU sanctions threaten the security of the region and further afield.
The anti-Western rhetoric of the regime in the initial stages of the Belarusian political crisis following the fraudulent election of August 2020 was primarily for Russian consumption, intending to enlist the Kremlin’s support by demonstrating common external threats to the two regimes. Financially, the effectiveness of this tactic has been disappointing. For the first time, Russia has declined to compensate the Belarusian regime for the costs of confrontation with the West.
Given the limited reserves of the Belarusian regime, escalation is seen as the only available tactic to force either concession from the West or greater generosity from the Kremlin. In turn, the only mechanism to achieve this is by provoking threats to regional security, either in the field of civilian border control or military confrontation.
This strategy is likely to generate the perception that Belarus is a source of military instability, threatening all neighbouring countries, including Russia, which will impact the security environment of Eastern Europe in ways comparable to that caused by Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014-2015.