14 April 2024, Sunday, 2:10
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Charter 97!

Why Neutrality And Baltic-Black Sea Union Will Not Save Belarus

Why Neutrality And Baltic-Black Sea Union Will Not Save Belarus

Only NATO can guarantee the security of our country.

The presentation of the book “Belarus in NATO” took place in the Warsaw “Eastern European House” (Dom Wschodni).

At the presentation of the book, a discussion took place, in which the leader of the European Belarus civil campaign, ex-presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, ex-Minister of Defense of Poland, former Vice-President of the European Parliament Janusz Onyszkiewicz and the famous Russian-American historian Yuri Felshtinsky took part. Natallia Radzina, the Editor-in-Chief of the website Charter97.org, moderated the discussion.

Leader of the European Belarus civil campaign Andrei Sannikov told how Belarus helped Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Baltic countries join NATO:

— I would like to quote the article by Mr. Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz in the book “Belarus in NATO”: “It is not the army that joins NATO, it is the state, civil society, elites and the entire people that join NATO.” Let's imagine that there is no Lukashenka. What should we do? The answer is obvious — democracy must be protected in a military sense.

I would like to recall one story. In 1995, I argued with the former adviser to the US President Zbigniew Brzeziński. There was such a magazine “Belarus u svetse”. We spoke out about NATO there. Even then it was clear that the Visegrad Group was moving towards NATO, the Baltic countries also spoke positively about the Alliance, and Lukashenka was in power in Belarus.

The main idea that I expressed in the article was that perhaps Belarus should not be pushed away from this process. The country needs to be drawn into it. It was obvious where Lukashenka was heading, and there would be less security in the region with just such a Belarus. The West could do more to ensure that our country participates in these processes.

What happened? Belarus helped Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Baltic countries join NATO. Because it was an excellent background to say: “If we are not in NATO, what is happening in Belarus will happen to us. We will fall under Russian influence.”

The politician also responded to supporters of other security concepts for our country:

— There were a lot of discussions on what the security architecture of Belarus should look like. Everyone remembers the Baltic-Black Sea Union. This was a fairly good idea for the 90s, maybe for the early 2000s. However, it was obvious that this would not ensure our security and the development of the country. We talked about neutrality. But people just don't understand that this is a lot of money. This is impossible. Even the richest Sweden just recently decided all the issues regarding joining NATO. But this was the main example of neutrality. Imagine, everything should be yours. Having your own army, your own equipment — this is simply impossible for a country that is small in military terms. Neutrality is not for us.

I believe that the date of February 24, 2022 finally put an end to the question of where Belarus should be. This must be connected with the victory of Ukraine, the security of Ukraine and with independence, freedom and democracy in Belarus. That's why there are two flags on the cover of the book. Belarusian and Ukrainian. The independence of Belarus and Ukraine, Ukraine and Belarus in NATO are important for Europe.

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