Friendly Visit: Why is Putin visiting Belarus?

The Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to travel to Belarus to attend the meeting of the Supreme State Council providing for the adoption of the State budget for 2016, approving programs of joint action in the foreign policy for 2016-2017, as well as a discussion of the outcomes of trade and economic cooperation between Moscow and Minsk over the last year and a number of other bilateral issues.

Tug of War

Belarus is another point of confrontation between the Atlanticist and the Eurasian blocs. Despite the rapprochement of the Belarusian leadership's commitment to Russia, there is still a danger of collision and alienation between the two states. The fifth and sixth columns on both sides of the border are significantly in favor of this.

The West Changing its Tactics

Instead of aggressive propaganda and economic warfare against the president of Belarus and its elites, Washington and Brussels now uses so-called “soft power”. Minsk withstood Western aggression, and the warming of relations came into effect: the President and another 170 representatives of the elite lifted the sanctions, and in addition, the IMF increased the quota of Special Drawing Rights for Minsk. All this happened while the Western media claimed that Belarus "must be protected against aggression from the East”.

Defense Cooperation is threatened

The fate of the Russian Air Force base on the territory of Belarus is unclear. In the autumn of 2015, Vladimir Putin instructed the Defense Ministry to hold talks with the Belarusian side on the issue of the Russian airbase. However, it quickly became a subject of bargaining, as there still has not been any specific decision.