Belarus Defence and Security Report Q1 2011

Date: January 22, 2011
Pages: 86
US$ 1,295.00
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF), Download
ID: BF3A5322880EN

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More signs of Belarus’s shift towards Europe and away from Russia, and changes in its security strategy, became evident in a speech by Belarusian President Alekssandr Lukashenko in October 2010, as reported by RT. The president spoke in favour of closer ties with the European Union and NATO, and against the use of Russian (actually more widely spoken in the country than Belarussian) as a state language.

Lukashenko signaled a shift in national security policy to face ‘contemporary global challenges and threats’, making pre-emptive moves to tackle security problems, including extremism, terrorism, humanitarian crises and information threats. Whether the last issue referred to cyber warfare or Russian press attacks on the president’s regime or both is not clear.

Relations between Belarus and Russia have worsened considerably over the past two years, despite the countries’ strong economic, cultural and indeed military ties. Accusations and counter-accusations have been flying around. In October 2010, The Moscow News reported that Aleksandr Lukashenko had threatened to pull Belarus out of the Union State and customs union with Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organisation of former Soviet countries, if Moscow did not recognise his victory in upcoming elections. Russian President Medvedev has said that Russia will look at the results ‘impartially’ – which could be a coded message, as votes in Belarus are widely considered to be neither free nor fair.

Lukashenko has hinted that Russia had not been respecting Belarussian sovereignty, and that the Russian leadership was partly responsible for the decline in relations. Lukashenko issued a clear veiled threat that if diplomatic relations deteriorated, Belarus would turn to other countries. With European countries increasingly tending to extend the olive branch to Belarus, this is a more substantial threat than perhaps it might have been five years ago.

We expect relations between Belarus and Russia to remain strained for the foreseeable future, as Lukashenko continues to balance his foreign policy objectives. Indeed, while Belarus has joined a customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan in order to gain economic benefits from increased trade, the relationship between Moscow and Minsk is expected to periodically sour given Lukashenko's reluctance to allow stronger Russian influence within Belarus.

Lukashenko remains the most likely candidate to win the presidential election in the beginning of 2011, with power set to remain firmly concentrated within the executive branch for the foreseeable future as a result.

Meanwhile, Belarus is seen as a ‘cyber sanctuary’ from which cyber criminals and those involved in cyber warfare and espionage can operate without interference from the authorities. Cyber warfare poses a rising risk to global political and economic stability and could represent a wild card in any major international confrontation. BMI expects the world's major powers – and indeed, smaller states – to step up their cyber warfare capabilities over the coming years, with a view to deterring others from attacking them."
Executive Summary
SWOT Analysis
Belarus Security SWOT
Belarus Defence Industry SWOT
Political SWOT Analysis
Economic SWOT Analysis
Business Environment SWOT Analysis
Global Political Outlook
Global Hotspots
Latin America: More Of The Same
Western Europe
Central Europe
South Eastern Europe
Russia And The Former Soviet Union
Middle East: Mostly The Same Old Challenges
Sub-Saharan Africa: Definitive Elections Pending
Asia: Accommodating A More Powerful China
Wild Cards
Global Security Outlook
Central And Eastern Europe Overview
Security Risk Analysis
BMI’s Security Ratings
  Table: Europe Security Risk Ratings
  Table: Europe State Terrorism Vulnerability To Terrorism Index
Belarus’ Security Ratings
City Terrorism Ratings
  Table: BMI’s Central & Eastern Europe And Central Asia City Terrorism Index
Security Overview
Internal Security Situation
Latest Developments
Territorial Disputes
Relations With The West
Relations With Central Asia And Russia
Latest Developments
Armed Forces And Government Spending
Armed Forces
  Table: Regional Armed Forces, 2007 (Including conscripted, ‘000)
Current Strength
Historical Strength
Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Market Overview
Industry Trends And Developments
  Table: Key Players In Belarus’ Defence Sector
Arms Trade Overview
Procurement Trends And Developments
Latest Developments
Industry Forecast Scenario
  Table: Belarus Defence Armed Forces 2000-2008
  Table: Belarus Defence Available Manpower for Military Service 2000-2008
  Table: Belarus Defence Expenditure 2008-2015
  Table: Belarus Expenditure Scenario: Changing % Of GDP
Macroeconomic Forecast Scenario
Company Profiles


Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant (MZKT)
Minotor Service Company
BMI Methodology
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
Defence Industry
City Terrorism Rating
  Table: Methodology
Sources . 86
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