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January 23 – January 29, 2023
Security issues

Minsk and Kyiv seek to avoid a military clash

The situation has not changed

Despite the bellicose rhetoric in Belarus and Ukraine, both sides seek to prevent direct military confrontation, and there is probably some dialogue on this issue.

At a cabinet meeting on January 24th, Lukashenka stated that Kyiv had proposed a non-aggression pact with Minsk. Significantly, what he stated that was a confidential matter, so a question remains regarding why he made the matter public.

Previously, during a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, Lukashenka alleged that the West was putting pressure on Ukraine to commit provocations against Belarus but that the Ukrainian authorities were resisting the “destructive Western pressure”, prompting praise from Lukashenka in the presence of a high-ranking Russian guest.

It is also of note that during the Russian missile attack on Ukraine on J14th, S-400 anti-aircraft missiles were used to strike ground targets. Initial reports that they were launched from Belarusian territory were swiftly refuted by Kyiv, clarifying that the missiles were launched from Russian territory near the junction of the borders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

On January 23rdrd, Minsk reported about 17,000 Ukrainian servicemen stationed along the Belarus/Ukraine border; fewer than during the spring of 2022, indicating a stable situation.

Obviously, relations between Minsk and Kyiv are more complicated than rhetoric and insults. Both sides are trying to prevent political confrontation from escalating to become military. This will continue, but not everything depends on Kyiv and Minsk. The situation could deteriorate dramatically due to accidental incidents or destructive acts by a third party.

 

 

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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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