After the collapse of communism and the collapse of the USSR, the world became «unipolar». The core is the world economy leaders — developed countries of the 1st world. Next came the catching up (developing) countries, including the former socialist camp. The periphery was occupied by countries of the 3rd world, those that chose to live «their own mind» and refused to be cultivated.
The advantage of this system is the ability to change your position in the world hierarchy. For example, initially backward Singapore for 25 years of independence moved from the 3rd world to the top ten advanced and richest countries on the planet. We can say that the unipolar world embodied the well-known Marxist principle «from each according to his abilities».
After the collapse of the USSR, Russia was among the developing countries of the 2nd tier with the prospect of a subsequent transition to the top League. It was given an emphatically privileged political status, secured membership in all key international structures, allocated investment, and opened unhindered access to energy markets. Created the conditions allowed for a relatively short period of time, to pay off debts and build up unprecedented gold and foreign exchange reserves, ahead in this case United States.
Together with Russia, China has successfully taken advantage of the opportunities of a unipolar world order. The country in which in the 80-ies of the last century the daily norm of nutrition was a Cup of rice per person, today is the second economy in the world by nominal GDP.
Flaws in the capitalist world order
However, as it turned out, the world system has unpleasant flaws. For example, the size of an army, the amount of money, or nuclear warheads does not give you the privilege to operate outside of the established rules. Moreover, candidates for the top League are subjected to absolutely ridiculous additional requirements – the transition to democratic standards, respect for human rights.
This fact does not bother Saudi Arabia or the UAE, which are digging in their desert.
But for an ambitious country born to rule the world, to vegetate on the sidelines and live by someone else’s rules is boring, not interesting and humiliating. If it is not possible to achieve world domination within the existing rules, then the only way to change the situation is to break and rebuild the world «for yourself».
Russia and China as brothers in arms
China, which is close in spirit, found itself in a similar situation. At some point, he too decided that it was his time for world domination.
Anyway, Russia and China found in the same club of revolutionaries who decided to change the regime on planet Earth.
In the fight against the hegemony of the West, Russia, out of habit, has taken the role of puppeteer of the world resistance. It develops multi-way routes, inspires and coordinates the liberation movement of the world’s proletarians. The role of proletarians is assigned to authoritarian regimes and armed radicals.
China acts as a financial and industrial center. It seems destined to take the brunt of the economic and military blow. It is not for nothing that China has the world’s largest gold and foreign exchange reserves and the largest army.
The role of global lumpens is assigned to rogue countries, radical Islamists, and other undeservedly disadvantaged elements. Their task is to sow chaos among the civilian population of Western countries.
The answer of the Western world
The civilized countries were tolerant of the preparatory work of their partners. They tried to influence their behavior through appeasement, pumping money, and involvement in joint humanitarian and economic projects. It was assumed that the disease of childhood will recede itself as you grow up.
The deterioration of the situation forced the resort to economic restrictions. Sanctions were imposed on Russia as an aggressor country, and access to Western investment and technology was blocked. China’s access to the US market, the main consumer of Chinese products, was made more difficult.
Further aggravation of the conflict forced the use of radical economic measures. The West began to extracting money from States that pose a threat to the world. At the same time, the excommunicating of these States from the world capitalist economy has begun.
Technically, the mechanism for extracting money is implemented through the freezing of accounts, debiting funds for won international arbitrations. It is not possible to save or re-hide money.
If you look at this process from the perspective of dialectics, then all the accumulated monetary resources are, in General, not money of China and Russia. This is the money of the West, which the West allowed new members of its economy to acquire, as long as they followed the rules of the game.
That is, it is not even a seizure of money as such. The money of the Western economy remains in the Western economy. From the Western economy are being excluded Specific countries that have rebelled against the Western economy. Money, after all, is not to blame that it was not found a worthy use.
In General, everything goes to the point that both Russia and China, as the culprits, will be deeply «reset».
In addition to losing their savings, ex-members will not be able to continue earning in the capitalist economy. Already today, the created demand deficit has made Russian oil unnecessary for any money. After restarting the global economy, Russia’s niche will be given to those who were good and behaved correctly. For those who remain in the business, this will become a clear edification: «Don’t be like Vova. Be like the Prince of Saudi Arabia».
It is likely that entering the trajectory of the «special path» and (self -) isolation of Russia will be accompanied by a military conflict with the civilized world.
Current status of Belarus
Today’s Belarus is a typical buffer state, and Belarus is quite happy with its situation.
However, such a Belarus no longer meets the interests of Russia. Russia is going to restore spheres of influence in the Western direction and requires Belarus to deepen integration.
The European Union is interested in an independent Belarus as a sanitary barrier between Russia.
Belarus tries to keep an equidistant distance from both centers of power. Belarus this is a self-sufficient country that lives by its own mind. In fact, Belarus does not need anything from Russia or the EU, except money.
Over the past year, Russia has been pursuing a policy of economic coercion of Belarus to deeper integration within the framework of the Union Treaty. At first, Belarus was deprived of revenue from duty-free oil.
After that, Russia stopped pumping through the «poisoned» «Friendship», depriving Belarus of income for transit services.
Belarusian refineries were left without raw materials, which means that the state did not earn money from selling fuel abroad.
The launch of «Nord stream – 2» was supposed to deprive Belarus of revenue from gas transit to Europe, and in fact threatened Belarus with the possibility of completely disconnecting from the gas supply system from Russia. And only a miracle, in the person of the United States, thwarted the plans of the ally. As a result of the US intervention, the construction of the gas pipeline bypassing Belarus was stopped in December last year at 93.5% readiness.
The decline in economic activity associated with the «coronavirus psychosis» (as the President of Belarus called it) caused an unprecedented shortage of demand and a crisis of overproduction of oil. Tank farms and pipeline systems overflowing with unclaimed oil. The upcoming decline in oil production is fraught with serious technological problems in the industry.
However, the long-awaited drop in world oil prices now does not bring Belarus the expected benefits. Under the current circumstances, buying russian oil «on the cheap» is not a way to earn money, but rather a way to spend it.
The meaning of cheap oil is to be able to earn a margin by reselling the received oil or petroleum products produced from it to Europe for hard currency.
Unfortunately, neither oil nor petroleum products will be needed in Europe in the foreseeable future, and the domestic market pays in domestic rubles.
An emergency slowdown in the global economy is a convenient reason to throw unwanted passengers out of it. After the «restart » of energy, the products of the Belarusian oil industry made from Russian raw materials may be in the black list on a par with the Russian one.
Unfortunately, the economic risks are not the most dangerous of available for Belarus. In the end, the belts can be tightened, the economy can be rebuilt, and if all gets really bad, the West will always provide humanitarian assistance.
Continuing reading will require the reader to update the characteristic quality of Belarusians-the ability to «enter into situation» and put themselves in the place of the other side of the conflict.
Russia is a great country whose territories, spheres of influence, and status as a world power were taken away from it as a result of the greatest deception and treachery. The closest ally, with which Russia has been building a unified state for many years, suddenly declared the value of sovereignty and turned to the main geopolitical opponent for protection.
In the end Belarus turned out to be an unreliable partner for Russia prone to treason. However, this does not change its role in the event of a military clash between Russia and NATO. Whichever side Belarus takes, it will have to take the main blow, because the showdown will take place on its territory. The convenience of Belarus as a military training ground is due to the geographical location and political status of the «no-man’s-land» territory. For both NATO and Russia, this will be a war outside their jurisdictions, which means that it will carry much less political risks for each of the parties.
In Russia, there is a popular meme — «bomb Voronezh», which means-to vent anger on own subjects if a response to the enemy is impossible or threatens too serious consequences. In our case, Belarus will fulfill the role of a conditional Voronezh, because it is not so sorry.
A military conflict between NATO and Russia is not the desirable option, but it does not depend on the position of Belarus. There is slightly comfort in the fact that this will not be a war of annihilation, but a showdown between the military, which will not affect the civilian population much.
A much more serious factor in the conflict is the nuclear threat, which a priori occurs where at least one of the parties has a nuclear Arsenal. Various variants of nuclear war are described in detail by scientists and military experts. All parties understand the consequences and, apparently, will do everything possible to avoid it.
However, for Belarus (as well as Ukraine and Lithuania), there is a nuclear threat that is not related to the use of nuclear weapons, but that is directly related to the Russia-NATO conflict.
The Project «Shield Of The Motherland»
According to a number of signs, such as the development of a «sovereign Internet» and an independent payment system (similar to SWIFT), the dedollarization of the economy, preparations for changing the Constitution, the General tone of political rhetoric, etc., we can conclude that Russia is preparing for self-isolation as an option. Going into a self-isolation regime may well take the form of a blind defense with a cardinal break in relations with the Western world and complete blocking of borders and communications in the western direction.
This raises a legitimate question: how to close the Western border so that an invasion from the West becomes fundamentally impossible? There are no natural barriers between Europe and Russia. The construction of a complex of fortifications such as the Chinese wall or the Mannerheim line from the Black sea to the Baltic sea on the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States will not allow the governments of these countries, which, as we know, are «bought by the West».
However, it seems that the way out of the situation was laid by the military strategists of the USSR, who launched a program to build a complex of nuclear power plants along the Western borders of the country. In peacetime, nuclear power plants are separate energy facilities. They make a profit and provide electricity. they provide employment for the population, and most importantly — they fall out of the enemy’s attention zone, because they are not considered military objects. In the event of a threat of invasion, objects explode and form a protective zone of nuclear contamination along the border in the way of enemy manpower. Atom becomes the guardian of the border and protects it more reliable than any soldiers.
If you look at the map of the NPP location, you can see that they are built in two lines. The first line runs from South to North on the route «Crimea-Zaporozhye-Yuzhnoukrainsk-Khmelnitsky-Rivne». Until recently, the first line ended in the North with the Ignalina nuclear power plant. In 2009 it was liquidated by the Lithuanian government, thus leaving the Northern tip of the Baltic-black sea area unprotected.
The second line of defense runs along the Western border of Russia on the route » Rostov-Voronezh — Kursk – Smolensk-Kalinin-S.Petersburg-Murmansk». This year Belarus is putting the Ostrovets nuclear power plant into operation. The facility fits into the overall configuration of the first line, replacing the lost Ignalina nuclear power plant. The facility was built with Russian money, according to a Russian project and under the supervision of Russian engineers.
It should be understood that the project, let’s call it «Shield Of The Motherland» (any matches are random), is not directed against Belarus, Ukraine or the Baltic States. This is not an offensive weapon at all. This is a means of self-defense. There is no doubt that, if necessary, after the first line of defense, the internal perimeter will be activated, which, by the way, includes the above-mentioned Voronezh (Novovoronezh NPP). The » Shield Of The Motherland» program is convenient because its activation does not give a reason for a nuclear response from NATO, and Russia itself remains outside the zone of the main defeat. Naturally, the radiation threat will require the evacuation of the population, which will be evicted to ecologically clean areas of inner Russia.
It is not necessary mean that any of the described options for economic, military, or nuclear threats are implemented. But all of them are somehow within the limits of real possibilities, which means that they can be implemented under certain conditions.
The purpose of this text is just to ensure that the worst for Belarus will never come true.
Aleh Krautsou’s opinion for Belarus Security Blog