Kyiv should have no illusions regarding the dictator.
As former Prime Minister of Ukraine, ex-head of the Security Service of Ukraine, former representative of Kyiv in the tripartite contact group for resolving the situation in the Donbas, Yevhen Marchuk, said in a interview with glavcom.ua, “the Belarusian direction, by its criticality level, can unexpectedly become superactual in the military, economic and international sense.”
He did not rule out the possibility that “Lukashenka will not be able to change much.”
Marchuk believes that the Belarusian ruler “has no aggressive plans for Ukraine. But as people sometimes say: no one will ask him.”
He explained his position with the “gigantic pressure that Russia has applied in recent years to Belarus, with a view to its full integration into the “union state” in accordance with their bilateral treaty of the late Yeltsin era.”
“I am deeply convinced that in our future work we should proceed from just such a scenario. The grounds for such a conclusion are given to me by the rapid changes in the Russian-Belarusian relations. But, as they say, without fuss and without panic, understanding at the same time that Belarusians as people in general have an incomparably better attitude to Ukraine than the Russians. For four years of participation in the Minsk process, I studied this problem well, and now I continue to closely monitor it,” the politician noted.
Marchuk drew attention to the recent exercises of Russian strategic aviation “in the sky over Belarus”, which launched “conditional attacks on political and military targets in the western part of Ukraine”, as well as the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017”.
“If this “union state” takes place according to the Russian scenario, then no one will ask Lukashenka’s permission, because there will be a single defense policy and a single defense system,” says Yevhen Marchuk.
He expressed satisfaction with the fact that over the past two years “it has been possible to practically complete the demarcation of the state border with Belarus.”
“But this is very, very little. I have criticized our Foreign Ministry before, and I see that even now they are not taking this very seriously. We need to conduct very active multifaceted work with our neighbors. And not only with Belarus,” the Ukrainian politician is convinced.
With reference to specialists, he drew attention to the repair of roads in the southern part of Belarus.
“For the military, the quality of roads, bridges or river crossings is of great importance. Recently, some roads and crossings have been repaired in southern Belarus, supposedly for civilian purposes. But it’s very easy for the military to determine which road or bridge is made for a 35-ton tank, and which for a 5-ton tractor. That is, Belarusians made such repairs to roads and crossings that they can easily be used to transport heavy military equipment,” Marchuk said.
Yevhen Marchuk, who turns 79 on January 28, was the first head of the Security Service of Ukraine (successor to the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR) in 1991-1994, in 1995-1996 he held the post of a Prime Minister of the country, in 1999-2003 he was Secretary of the National Security Council and Defense of Ukraine, in 2003-2004 - the Minister of Defense.
From May 2015 to May 2019, he worked in the security subgroup of the tripartite contact group to resolve the situation in the Donbas.