Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Even if Minsk is against, Putin may launch new invasion of Ukraine from Belarus, experts say

Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka with Vladimir Putin and Putin's defense minister Sergey Shoygu observing joint military exercises (Image:
Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka with Vladimir Putin and Putin’s defense minister Sergey Shoygu observing joint military exercises (Image:
Even if Minsk is against, Putin may launch new invasion of Ukraine from Belarus, experts say
Edited by: A. N.

Even though Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s government would likely be opposed, Vladimir Putin has sufficient leverage over Belarus to use it as a place des armes in the event of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine or of war with NATO, according to some experts at a conference in Kyiv last week.

But others at the meeting suggested that Moscow might find that ever harder to do, especially if actions by incoming US President Donald Trump push down the price of oil and thus leave Russia less able to subsidize Belarus.

In an article for Ukraine’s Apostrophe portal, Vadym Dovnar says that there has been relatively little media coverage of a conference last week in Kyiv on 25 Years of Ukrainian-Belarusian DialogueProspects for Bilateral Relations at a Time of Global Challenges despite the important arguments that were made there.

Most participants in the meeting argued, he continues, that

“official Minsk will not be in a position to oppose for long demands from Moscow” to be used against Ukraine or NATO, especially since “Belarusian territory and airspace is already being used [by the Russians] against Ukraine.”

Hanna Hopko, head of the Verkhovna Rada’s foreign relations committee, said that Ukrainian experts have been discussing the ways in which Moscow might use Belarusian territory against Ukraine and the likely inability of the Belarusian government to prevent that from happening, despite Minsk’s opposition to any such moves.

Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova map
Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova (Image:

Many Belarusian analysts agreed, arguing that “one must not completely exclude the possibility of an invasion of Ukraine from Belarus.” As one of their number put it: “Does the Kremlin view Belarus as a neutral country? I very much doubt it,” given Moscow’s efforts to create joint military forces there.

“Yes, in recent years, Minsk has consistently pursued an effort not to take the side of Russia in its aggressive policy on the post-Soviet space and in the Middle East, has actively developed relations with the opponents of Russia, and even spoken out against any change in the borders of the countries of the former USSR,” the journalist said.

And Minsk has also rewritten its security doctrine, limited Russia’s military presence, and increased the autonomy of the Belarusian armed services,” but he and other experts said that despite that, Belarusian neutrality must be within the limits Moscow will tolerate. And they spoke openly about what they called “the ‘Finlandization’ of Belarus.”

But one comment at the meeting is both encouraging and frightening, encouraging in that it suggests Moscow’s leverage on Minsk may be declining and frightening in that, if that is the case,

Putin may decide to use Belarus against Ukraine sooner rather than later, especially during the unsettled period between the US elections and the inauguration of a new president.

Belarusian analyst Viktor Martynovich said that “cheap oil has made Moscow not all that interesting for Minsk as a partner. Minsk is ready to be friends only with the rich and the generous. Present-day Moscow is not rich and not generous, and so Ukraine ought not to be afraid of Belarus” all other things being equal.

At the same time, he added, “Donald Trump’s promises to lift the limits on oil production mean that oil prices will continue to fall, and therefore Belarus should remain at least conditionally neutral,” a conclusion that the Kremlin is probably just as aware of as are people in Minsk and Kyiv.

Edited by: A. N.
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts