The agreement on the stay in Belarus of military facilities of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation will soon expire. Given Minsk’s stubborn reluctance to integrate into the Union State format and a direct refusal to deploy a Russian air base on its territory, what could be the fate of this infrastructure, which is most important for the security of our country?
We are talking about two military facilities. The first is the 43rd communications center of the Russian Navy Vileyka (military unit 49390). His task is to ensure the communication of the General Staff of the Russian Navy at extra-long waves with nuclear submarines on alert in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as electronic intelligence and electronic warfare. The communication center is equipped with a transmitter with a capacity of 1000 kW. The object was built in Soviet times in conditions of secrecy, but to hide the antenna mast 270 meters high is somewhat problematic. Interestingly, about 350 officers and midshipmen of the Russian Navy are currently serving in the Belarusian forests.
The second object is the Volga radar station, located in the Brest region. It is part of the structure of the Space Forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and is part of the missile attack warning system. Earlier, President Alexander Lukashenko said that the United States was ready to give Belarus $ 10 billion for the elimination of this radar.
"Vileika" and "Volga" were transferred to Russia for a period of 25 years without levying taxes, except those related to their economic needs, in accordance with the agreement of 1996. These military facilities are an important part of the defense system of both our country and Belarus itself. But now, it seems, the wind of change has blowed. Some time ago, President Lukashenko flared up when he learned that the Russian side had refused him missile tests at his training grounds:
No need to kneel before the Russians. This is a signal if our closest ally not only does not agree to make a rocket with us, but the training ground does not provide ...
True, there are no such ranges suitable for testing missiles with a range of over 300 kilometers in our country, we rent them from Kazakhstan. But the government of Belarus began to consider the conditions for the continued stay of Vileyka and Volga on its territory, since the terms of the previous agreement expire. There are two main scenarios.
To the exit
Unfortunately, we have to admit that relations between Moscow and Minsk are gradually deteriorating. The attempt of the “Anschluss” of Belarus in the format of integration into the Union State frankly failed. The Oil War, chosen as an instrument of pressure, turned against the Kremlin itself with a karmic boomerang. Anti-Russian sentiments are gradually growing in the fraternal republic, while the pro-Western opposition against President Lukashenko himself is gaining strength.
The latter traditionally rushes and maneuvers between the West and the East. The decision to put up the Russian military can add points to him in the eyes of local nationalist-minded patriots on the eve of the election, as well as patting him on the shoulder in Brussels and Washington. On the other hand, Alexander Grigoryevich is not a stupid person, and he could not help drawing certain conclusions from the fate of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych.
Money on the barrel
Much more likely is the conclusion of a new agreement for the lease of military infrastructure by Russia for real money, and considerable. Friendship is good, but friendship and many millions of dollars is even better. Before the elections, such a step by Minsk will clearly add political points to President Lukashenko.