June 12 – June 18, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

The Belarusian regime no longer controls Russian military activity on its territory

The situation got worse
The Belarusian regime no longer controls Russian military activity on its territory

Putin announced from Moscow the early delivery of the first batch of nuclear weapons to Belarus. Lukashenka continues to play the role of “peacemaker”, arguing about global nuclear threats and acting as Putin’s speechwriter.

At the economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin announced that the first nuclear warheads have been deployed to Belarusian territory. Previously Putin had stated that the deployment would begin after July 7-8th.

Lukashenka responded by continuing to play the role of blackmailer-peacemaker. During an interview with Russian propagandist Olga Skabeyeva, he stated that Russia would use nuclear weapons if NATO “puts Putin against the wall or drives him into a corner.” Consequently, he is convinced that it is essential to negotiate on “his” (Lukashenka’s) terms while there is still time. However, Lukashenka asserts that “the West” will not allow Ukraine to negotiate.

Lukashenka also said he “has information from which everyone [in Ukraine] will explode”. The vast majority of Ukrainians want to end the war, including the military. He called for an end to the war and then to figure out who was to blame, adding that the “showdown”, in this case, would not favour Ukraine. Thus, in one diatribe, he simultaneously called on Kyiv to negotiate and, at the same time, do the opposite. From a certain perspective, Lukashenka has already “outplayed” Leon Trotsky with his call for “No peace, no war, and disband the army.”

The Investigative Committee of Russia has created a military investigation department in Belarus and deployed relevant personnel “in connection with the location of units of the Russian Ministry of Defence in the Republic of Belarus,” as the official statement explains.

The Russian import substitution of RUB 3.9 billion has not yet led to increased investment in Belarus. Judging by investment statistics, this loan, allocated in 2022, has not yet been spent. There are valid reasons for this related to problems purchasing equipment necessary to modernise production. However, enterprises may be suppressing information on such purchases to avoid new sanctions and therefore failing to report the utilisation of Russian funding.

Minsk’s recent proposal to raise the oil pumping tariff through the Druzhba pipeline is not agreeable to Russia, as stated by Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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