Lukashenka and Shoigu Discuss ‘Iron Security Guarantees’ for Belarus
Minsk and Moscow continue to intensify military-strategic cooperation. Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, S. Shoigu, visited Minsk and discussed “iron security guarantees” for Belarus with Lukashenka. The Belarusian authorities continue to intensify cooperation with Russian regions, most recently, the Republic of Tatarstan.
On April 10th, Lukashenka received Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on a freelance visit to Minsk. These two stellar global security experts briefly discussed the international security system and “security guarantees for Belarus”, which Russia should provide without the participation of third parties and authorities. According to Lukashenka, the two countries must revise all treaties and agreements and agree on a new security treaty.
External analysts regard these statements as “strange”, given that such agreements already exist within the framework of the CSTO and the Union State. The fundamental change in the future security concept is the deployment and potential use of nuclear weapons on or from the territory of Belarus.
A delegation of the Republic of Tatarstan visited Minsk. At a meeting with the head of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov, on April 13th, Lukashenka referred to the enormous potential for cooperation between Belarus and Tatarstan. According to Lukashenka, the 5% growth in mutual trade to almost USD 1 billion does not fully reflect this potential. About 50% of trade between Minsk and Kazan consists of petrochemicals. From there, the range of products should be expanded, and joint ventures created.
Lukashenka explained that Belarus is focused on the industrial sector, mainly mechanical engineering. According to Lukashenka’s estimates, the value of deliveries of automotive components to the Union State market exceeds USD 19 billion – “a lot of money that we should not give to anyone.”
The aircraft industry is another promising area for cooperation between Belarus and Tatarstan. Belarus is ready to commence producing and supplying components for Russian aircraft. It was mentioned that the Kazan Aviation Plant had resumed mass production of the Tu-214 passenger airliner. Prior media reports indicate that Minsk Civil Aviation Plant No. 407 intends to produce spare parts for Tu-214.
Finally, there were routine assertions that information technology and the digital economy provide enormous opportunities. Lukashenka notes that the areas in which Belarus and Tatarstan can cooperate know no boundaries.
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