The 10th annual international Belarusian Military Exposition (MILEX) will start today.
The exposition will promote new Russian and Belarusian technologies, including new models of popular anti-aircraft missile systems. Minsk and Moscow will also use the event to forge closer relationships with regional and international security alliances. Russian and Belarusian representatives to the Collective Security Treaty Organization plan to attend and hold meetings. On the backdrop of a new military arrangement between the two nations, such developments risk further fueling rising geopolitical tensions between Belarus, Russia and Western powers in the short- to medium-term.
Belarus is moving deeper into Russia’s sphere of influence following the detention of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich. While the US and EU have sanctioned various sectors of the Belarusian economy for the act, Moscow continues to extend generous loans to Minsk to shore up Belarus’ pro-Russia orientation. With his options dwindling, President Lukashenko is aligning himself more closely with Russia to maintain his grip on the presidency, going so far as to corroborate a dubious Russian allegation of a plot to assassinate him. As such, expect Western leaders to maintain their strategic distance from Belarus in the medium- to long-term if Lukashenko continues to violate international norms.
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Julian is a Research Analyst for The Daily Brief where he is a regular contributor. As a researcher and writer, Julian specializes in the political economy of East Asia and global macroeconomic developments.