September 20 – September 26, 2021
Security issues

Mixed Messaging from Minsk

The situation has not changed
Mixed Messaging from Minsk

The Belarusian regime continues to fulminate against the West within the country while intimating an interest in dialogue without However, the prospects for the latter are dim.

The Belarusian KGB claims to have uncovered another terrorist plot. A series of armed attacks on symbols and representatives of the regime were allegedly planned, based on instructions from outside the country and utilising weapons imported from Russia.

Alexander Lukashenko announced the detection of spies for the “Collective West” who are paid to leak information about measures to circumvent Western sanctions taken by Belarusian industrial enterprises.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Ministry of Defence of Belarus at an OSCE event dedicated to modern military and security risks referred to the interest of the Belarusian regime in constructive dialogue with Western countries using international platforms and bilateral contacts.

It is notable that the KGB has so far refrained from releasing verifiable specifics of these alleged terrorist activities. Foreign agitators and special services are referred to, but no specific country is mentioned. Interestingly, against a background of regular but unsubstantiated claims at the highest level about the flow of weapons allegedly entering Belarus from Ukraine, in this case, it is stated that weapons were imported from Russia.

Equating the disclosure of information on measures to circumvent Western sanctions with espionage and treason indicates that the regime takes these sanctions extremely seriously.

Any dialogue between the Lukashenka regime and Western countries in the field of military security depends on Belarus’ political relations with the EU and the United States. Without a serious improvement in this regard, attempts by Minsk to “trade in security” are doomed to fail.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.

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