JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Vladimir Putin is unlikely to invade Belarus” – Atlantic Council/ Anders Åslund

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Lukashenka seems to be on his way out. … he could only gather a few thousand press-ganged ‘supporters’ for a regime rally … [C]olossal crowds gathered [in Minsk] … hours later to demand his departure. Lukashenka’s blatant theft of the … presidential election has united the Belarusian people against him. Presumably, the only support he can now count on is the loyalist core within the country’s security apparatus. It is time for him to leave the country while he still can. The obvious question is whether Russia will intervene militarily …. Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo[M]ost Moscow media commentaries have been critical of Lukashenka.  … [at the same time] strikingly and uncharacteristically uncoordinated, suggesting no clear Kremlin policy. … Putin cannot stand Lukashenka [personally] …. Lukashenka does not appear to have … popular support. … [I]t [also] is doubtful whether Lukashenka controls a significant number of security forces any longer. … [T]he Kremlin cannot believe that Lukashenka is able to guarantee stability ….”

Some of Putin’s goals for Russia-Belarus relations appear to include: mutually beneficial bilateral relations; closer cooperation within the Union State; extensive Eurasian Economic Union and CIS integration; and Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) military and political links.

Click here for: “Why Vladimir Putin is unlikely to invade Belarus” – Atlantic Council/ Anders Åslund

[Lukashenka photo is file photo from another occasion]