A professor colleague approached me the other day he had read a paper that I had written years ago about a linch pin that I thought could start a major conflict (link below is a short post I did for IST on this theory)…..
My friend is an expert on the ex-Soviet Union, he teaches a class on late Russian history….anyway wanted to debate my premise for he thinks that the focal point will indeed be in Eastern Europe but he thinks it will center around Belarus….after about 2 hours of debate we both came away with our theories in n tact…it was a draw.
But he made some excellent points so I decided to do some research on my own……
After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than have any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country’s first and only directly elected president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means and a centralized economic system. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place. The situation was somewhat aggravated after security services cracked down on mass protests challenging election results in the capital, Minsk, following the 2010 presidential election, but little protest occurred after the 2015 election.
Belarus said on Thursday it suspected Russia was trying to restore a formal border zone between the two countries, a move it said flouted agreements on freedom of movement and trade and raised questions about Moscow’s real intent.
Belarus spoke out after the publication of three decrees signed by Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), that ordered border zones to be set up in three Russian regions adjacent to Belarus.
During my research I found a good paper written for RealClear……
Tensions between Moscow and Minsk have increased dramatically in the last two years as the countries’ tenuous relationship has deteriorated to the point of a regional crisis that mirrors the events in Ukraine. After Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko began exploring closer relations with the West because of high Russian oil prices, Russian media has ratcheted up an information war designed to spoke fear that Belarus is trying to follow Ukraine in aligning with the West.
After my research I can see where my friend is coming from….but I still hold to my original premise.