Posted: 26.05.2023 15:37:00

Opinion: Belarus’ President was correct in saying that NATO expansion is in place for almost two decades without any special military operation

Unlike NATO, the CSTO is not a forceful leverage of coercion of dissenters, but the collective will of the participating states – as stated by a deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, Sergei Klishevich

According to Mr. Klishevich, it is impossible to imagine a situation in the CSTO member states as, for example, in Finland, when people and politicians have diametrically opposite points of view on security issues. “This is an ordinary situation in NATO, and it is due to the fact that their external course is virtually determined by one country: the United States. The rest simply follow the command of the latter, without regard to their public opinion. As a result, the junior members of the alliance perceive NATO solely as a yoke, as an obligation to spend economic resources on the purchase of American weapons,” he said.

There is nothing similar in the CSTO, since such a ‘vertical’ or ‘unipolar’ principle makes the whole system fragile. Mr. Klishevich explained, “In times of Trump’s leadership, for example, NATO practically collapsed; this means that the overall effectiveness depends entirely on the right or wrong centre. Meanwhile, the CSTO is strong not because of its ‘vertical’, but due to its bilateral component: i.e. the allied agreements between Belarus and Russia in the field of military security. Russia has similar bilateral agreements with Armenia, Tajikistan and other participants. Ideally, all CSTO members should constantly increase the degree of military integration, so that we form a single security space. To achieve this, harmonisation of legislation continues within the CSTO, and model laws are being developed.”

As noted by the expert, NATO is now expanding along the CSTO perimeter, under the pretext of the special military operation. “Our President was correct in saying that the expansion has been in place for almost two decades – even without the special military operation. This is a consistent multi-year strategy to surround Russia with military bases for a preemptive strike. Actually, there was such a threat during the Cold War, but at least a dialogue was conducted between the blocs at that time. At present, the UN and OSCE have ceased to function as negotiating platforms, and the Russian delegation is not even physically allowed there – as it was recently observed at the Munich Security Conference. This means that they do not want to hear us and our peace initiatives, and that the region is being prepared for war,” he stressed.