The fate of the Belarusian regime is being decided in Ukraine today.
Why do Putin and Lukashenko discuss nuclear weapons? How can Ukraine effectively respond to the Belarusian dictator's threats?
Will Ukraine support Belarus with its European integration course?
The Charter97.org website talked about this with Oleh Belokolos, an expert on foreign and security policy of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs Foundation, the former adviser of the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada and Kenya.
— What do you think, can nuclear warheads appear on the territory of Belarus?
— This is a pretty big propaganda statement by Lukashenka. From the point of view of a sane, civilized world, this would be a violation of international law and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treatment. The Kremlin could easily break another rule after what Russia has already done. They have already violated all the rules. I won’t be surprised if at some point Lukashenka asks for chemical or bacteriological weapons. This kind of statement does not change anything in the real situation today.
— How would it be with nuclear weapons in Belarus?
— Of course, it would be under the control of Moscow. There is no doubt. This is no option to give control to someone else. These weapons would be controlled by Russian officers, and the button would be with the madman in the Kremlin. It is unlikely that he would have entrusted this to his friend.
— Is a nuclear strike possible from the territory of Belarus against Western countries or Ukraine?
— Both Putin and Lukashenka have lost the ability to adequately perceive the surrounding world and their countries. Therefore, it is hard to assess their acts in terms of common sense. Such statements are related to the fact that in the world, which really perceives the situation, events that are completely negative for the regimes of Russia and Belarus are taking place.
First of all, Sweden and Finland are joining NATO. The balance of power on the northeastern flank of the Alliance is changing.
As for the dictators, this is an attempt to put front, bravado, and brag. Like in a circus, when two clowns try to make the audience laugh, but it looks like they are only scaring. This is just a dialogue between two madmen, no one knows what will come into their heads. Unfortunately, there are people who are ready to mindlessly follow their instructions while they are in power. Any options are possible here.
— Volodymyr Zelensky recently addressed Belarusians, saying that they are being drawn into Russia's war against Ukraine. Is this a change in communication tactics? After all, the President of Ukraine addressed Belarusians directly.
— There have been no official relations with Minsk for a long time. No one here perceives Lukashenka as an independent player, everyone understands perfectly well that he is a backup dancer for the Kremlin's master. Now there is a real and informational war. I believe this is one of the ways of the information impact, primarily on the Belarusian military. So that they can see how the Russians were thrashed in Ukraine and not bring grief to their loved ones.
The Belarusian military may lose their lives, arms, legs here. Therefore, they are to think it over before taking up arms and invading Ukraine. Of course, this appeal should have been made earlier.
— In many ways, Ukraine only reacts to the statements of the Belarusian regime and its aggressive actions, and now the country is fully preparing to repel a possible strike from Belarus. Do you see an opportunity to seize the initiative so that Lukashenka becomes a 'loser'?
— Today our country is in a difficult situation, we are trying with all our might to deter aggression. At the moment, the situation in the east is a higher priority for us. Ukraine is acting in close cooperation with allies. If earlier the sanctions were only against Russia, now they have spread to Belarus as well. Many companies in their press releases indicate that they are leaving not only Russia but also Belarus. The two countries are now treated as one.
— The Lukashenka regime reacts very nervously to the Belarusian volunteers who are fighting in Ukraine. How can the Kalinouski Regiment be used more effectively to inflict maximum damage on the Belarusian regime?
— The very existence of this regiment is an ideological and political threat to the Lukashenka regime. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the regime is angry with those guys who, at the cost of their blood and lives, help us. Thank them so much, honour and glory. They are helping us defend our independence.
Obviously, many of them understand that by fighting for Ukraine, they are fighting for the liberation of Belarus from this regime. If we hit the Kremlin hard here, then it is possible that the Belarusian regime groaning under sanctions will begin to collapse.
— Ukraine has been granted EU candidate status. You have wonderful friends who support you in this way: Poland, and the Baltic countries. Can Ukraine become such a country for Belarus in the future, when Minsk embarks on the path of European integration?
— I have already said that in the future this coalition of these democratic countries, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States and Belarus, can become the most powerful coalition not only in Europe in close cooperation and interaction with neighbouring countries. We are still on this difficult path to Europe. There are still certain remnants of the Soviet times and some new elements that prevent us from developing along this path. But we will do our best to help Belarus.
We believe that the effective development of Eastern Europe is hardly possible without Belarus, even in terms of ordinary geography, not to mention other aspects. As for Russia, it is a completely different issue. It's not Europe, and everyone understands that it will be treated in a completely different way.