RUSSIAN MILITARY BASE WILL INCREASE RISKS FOR THE INDEPENDENCE OF BELARUS – STATEMENT BY THE RADA BNR

Policy Statement by the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic on Opposing the Plans for a Russian Military Base in Belarus

The Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile

– Considering  the Russian government’s decision to set up a military airbase in Belarus,

– Referring to the Concluding Memorandum of the Consultative Meeting of the leaders of Belarusian political and civic organisations and the President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile “On Measures to Safeguard the Independence of Belarus” of 3 November 2012 (“the Vilnius Memorandum”):

States that by allowing the creation of the said base at this time the official authorities of the Republic of Belarus would contribute to strengthening the offensive capability of Putin’s Russia, thereby setting Belarus in opposition to the other states of the region, as well  as to the Euro-Atlantic community as a whole. The BNR Rada highlights the fact that the creation of a Russian military base in Belarus would represent an obstacle to overcoming Belarus’s international isolation;

The Rada BNR points out that the circumstances of Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea testify to the Kremlin’s readiness to use its military bases abroad against the very countries which would allow the said bases to be set up within their territory. In this respect the BNR Rada notes that setting up a Russian military base in Belarus would lead to a substantial increase of risks for Belarus’s independence, creating crucial leverage for Putin’s regime to influence the future of Belarus;

The Rada BNR also highlights the fact that Aliaksandar Lukashenka – having lost his legitimacy as the president of Belarus since 1996 – lacks a legal right to make decisions on behalf of Belarus.  Neither is this authority held by the so-called “National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus”, since that body has itself been set up against the law, and formed in contradiction to democratic procedures;

The Rada BNR further points to the fact that establishing a foreign military base in Belarus directly contradicts the Constitution of Belarus which sets the objective of neutrality for our country;

The Rada BNR states that the foreign policy pursued by the incumbent official authorities of the Republic of Belarus – which remains based on trading Belarus’s sovereignty for economic and political sponsorship from the Kremlin – is showing itself once again to be a danger to Belarusian statehood, as well as in direct contradiction to the interests of the Belarusian nation, and by extension to the interests of international security;

The Rada BNR appeals to all the signatories of the Vilnius Memorandum, as well to all other Belarusian politicians sharing our goals of democracy and independence for Belarus, to make every effort to oppose the creation of a foreign military base in Belarus. The BNR Rada appeals to all friendly foreign governments  to apply diplomatic pressure on the incumbent official authorities of the Republic of Belarus so as to prevent the creation of an air force base in Belarus for Putin’s Russia, which would pose ongoing real and immediate danger for peace and security in Europe.

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