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    Increasing Russian domination over Belarus

    Over the past year, the Belarusian regime and the Russian administration have signed several agreements and arrangements enhancing cooperation between Russian and Belarusian security structures. Some of these documents are directly linked to the protection of the Union State’s borders. The cooperation between Russia and Belarus plays an important role in the assessment of the events taking place at our border with Belarus.

    In November 2020, the Belarusian Interior Ministry and the Russian Rosgvardiya signed in Moscow a „cooperation agreement”. The document postulated joint exercises of officers, cooperation as regards public order, protection of objects of critical infrastructure or strategic importance. It tackled also cooperation in the field of the „fight against terrorism and extremism”. The agreement consolidated the cooperation between two states and it also ensured a legal framework for Russia to support structures of Belarusian OMON used to suppress street protests and potential riots. This agreement could be launched for example in the event of a revolt or riots. It is based on this document that the Belarusian regime may ask Russia for help with ensuring „internal order”.

     

    Minsk and Moscow signed subsequent agreements in 2021. In March, talks were held between Russian and Belarusian special services that focused on cooperation in the format of the Union State. Finally, the agreement was signed in September in Sochi. During the talks held for several months, some experience concerning borders’ protection was shared and means of countering threats caused by „external factors” were discussed. Most joint talks and messages directed at public opinion included anti-West narratives. New documents were presented as a response to the alleged aggression of the West.

     

    In June 2021, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service and the Belarusian State Security Committee signed an agreement on increasing cooperation as far as fighting with „destructive activity of the West” and „aggressive politics of the US and western countries” are concerned. Another agreement was signed in September in Sochi during the College of the Union State Border Committee. During the signing ceremony, the common foreign policy was discussed, including the protection of borders and border areas of the Union State, as well as the cooperation of Russian and Belarusian border services. Also, an agreement was signed aiming at „improving joint reactions against violation of external borders of the Union State”.

     

    The last of numerous agreements was signed on 4 November in Moscow. Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko discussed and accepted the agenda of deepening Belarusian-Russian integration within the framework of the Union State for the years 2021-2023. Also, the new version of the military doctrine was approved, which includes a strategy that is „agreed and adapted to the current security situation”. Again, the document was prepared based on the main thesis concerning neutralization of „dangers connected to the hostile activity of the West”.

     

    Over the past year, Russia and Belarus have signed agreements that create the framework for cooperation of security and order services of both states and joint border protection. As a result of these agreements, a conflict at the Union State’s border may be solved together by Russian and Belarusian services, which means that the border crisis deliberately created by the Lukashenko’s regime must be analysed from the perspective of joint actions of Russian and Belarusian services against Poland.

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