National interests of Belarus and the problem of stability in Eastern Europe

Лукашенко, Порошенко, Путин

At the end of 2013 – political crisis in Ukraine was formed and developed into a military conflict in the East of the country, led to a significant change in the geopolitical situation in the region. Key international actors — Russia and the West (represented by the EU and the USA) took the opposite positions on the possible prospects of the foreign policy orientation of Ukraine, its territorial integrity, which led to a crisis in international relations, which is the most serious since the end of the «cold war» and threatens directly to regional and international security.

Events around Ukraine have a direct influence on the national security of Belarus. Our country occupies a unique geopolitical position in Europe, which has a significant influence on its place and role in the regional security. The republic is situated in the center of Europe, at the crossroads of important transit ways in the so-called «Strategic triangle» – because directly borders on Russia, countries of the European Union and NATO, Ukraine. During the wars in Europe in the previous century, Belarus suffered immense human and material losses. This factor has led to a special relationship of the Belarusian people to the question of security, so the state of the international and regional security is one of the most important conditions for the preservation and development of the nation and the state. The national interests of the republic correspond to participation in the processes of Eurasian integration and maintenance of stable political relations with Ukraine — the second most important economic partner in the CIS after Russia.

From the very beginning of the conflict in Ukraine and increased tension in Russian-Ukrainian relations, Belarus has consistently advocated a peaceful resolution of existing problems and the organization of the dialogue between the parties involved in the confrontation. Official Minsk took a balanced position in the Ukrainian conflict and repeatedly acted with specific initiatives for a peaceful settlement. This approach contributes to the building of the Belarusian leadership stability in the region, prevents escalation of the conflict and the involvement in it of other states.

The Russian-Ukrainian crisis has shown the inefficiency of traditional mechanisms of international security — the UN Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, bilateral and multilateral negotiating «platforms» between Russia and the West. In these conditions, the role of regional organizations and individual states, which, because of their geopolitical position can influence the situation. One can mention the negotiation process between the states of the Customs Union / Common Economic Space and the European Union in the framework of which it is possible to resolve political and economic problems, including the peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine, gas transit through Ukrainian territory, the harmonization of approaches in relation with the signing of the Ukraine Association Agreement with the EU and others. Belarus in this case serves as an important link between Russia and the West.

Due to the significant change in the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe the revision of many of the stereotypes and approaches in international relations is needed.

It is evident that the problem of the maintenance of international security, which would entail the creation of new institutions and mechanisms for the provision taking into account the interests of all participants in the international system. An important part of the transformation of the world system should be respected, guarantee sovereign rights of states to choose political and economic policy, the national interest, the resolution of complex issues without the use of various kinds of sanctions and restrictions, civilized, through negotiation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Material adjustment should be subject to the situation in the field of disarmament and arms limitation, arms trade. At the beginning of the XXI century, states and peoples must finally learn cruel lessons of the previous centuries, when the accumulation of arsenals of weapons, their improvement, «business» on the sale of weapons has been one of the causes of bloody wars.

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