Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is convinced that the West and NATO would respond accordingly if Russia tried to violate the sovereignty of Belarus.
“Classic threats to sovereignty always exist, even for Russia. But I do not feel like the threat to Belarus’s sovereignty is growing. If this threat from Russia, as some people say, arises, and suddenly it tries to violate our sovereignty, you know what the reaction of not only the global community will be – they will get drawn into the war. The NATO countries won’t stand for it, because they will consider it a threat to them. In this respect, they will be somewhat right,” Lukashenko told Echo of Moscow in an interview.
However, the Belarusian president does not believe that Russia needs that kind of “headache”.
“Russia will, of course, act carefully, cautiously. A threat will emerge when – a dangerous threat – when our economy is going really badly. When people can’t bear it all. That’s the only reason. While I’m in power, that’s the only threat,” Lukashenko remarked.
“We are not a colossally vast country with vast resources, but we’re in the middle of the ‘cauldron’. Here today intersect all interests west to east, and not only Russian, south to north. That’s the situation here. And being in this cauldron, you need to act so precisely, subtly and carefully, so that you don’t get boiled in this cauldron,” the Belarusian president added.
Previously Belarusian Chief of General Staff Oleg Belokonev said that Minsk and NATO are discussing the format of Belarus’s joint military exercises with the Alliance. According to him, a precondition for such maneuvers being conducted is for Belarus and Russia to remain allies.
At the start of 2019, Belarus asked Russia to provide a new $600 million loan in order to refinance the debts which Belarus needed to repay that year. Minsk owes Moscow a total of $7.6 billion. The Kremlin said that the matter was “being worked on”, and in April, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the decision to allocate funds had essentially already been made. However, no transfer of funds ultimately took place. In October, the Belarusian Finance Ministry said that it was not expecting to receive a loan, and was no longer even discussing the matter.