The ‘Weapon’ of the Union

6 Oct

As of late, relations between Russia and Belarus were rather chilly, and this fact hasn’t slipped bystanders’ attention. Earlier this year certain tension between the two still existed, but nevertheless, their partnership demonstrates some positive results.

Perhaps the main indicator of strengthening ties between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus is an intensive military cooperation. It  is carried out on a bilateral basis – both within the Union State treaty and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

According to wiki, the Union State is ‘a supranational  entity consisting of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus‘. The Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance. Current members – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Rather formidable, given that they plan to develop their militaries on the joint basis.

Many European and Russian analysts are inclined to assume that in future, CSTO could grow into an organization, which would be able to support national security of its member-states as well as to enhance integration processes within the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States – an alliance of the former republics of the Soviet Union). Maybe, though the life now is considerably tough for some former-Soviet states.

Through cooperation, Russia and Belarus have successfully succeeded in shaping a joint defence policy and activating the Regional Military Task Force (RMTF).

Since the year 2K, the RMTF has been constantly increasing its operational capabilities and readiness. The RMTF was intially established to serve as a warrantor of stability in the region. Joint military exercises, which are regularly held on the Russian territory (Union Shield-2006/2011, Autumn-2009, West-2009), aim at improving the quality of military partnership and interoperability of the both states’ militaries.

Each year, the RMTF implements its annual joint operational support plan by conducting nearly 40 joint training events of various performance levels.

Political leaders of these countries plan to widen their partnership in defence technologies’ development and successfully realize the interplant cooperation agreement. Traditionally, the Republic of Belarus supplies Russian weaponry and military equipment with automatic control systems, provides wheeled vehicles and other products of national industry. Currently, about 180 Russian defence manufacturers carry out joint projects with more than 120 Belarussian companies – elements of the country’s military-industrial complex.

On the whole, the development of military partnership is beneficial for both countries, as it gives them an opportunity for a political discourse at the highest levels. However, economical situation in the world is very unstable and financial discord could become a bone of contention for such an alliance.

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