Russian bomber aircraft in Belarus to escalate threat of military conflict


9U.S. deployment of heavy weapons in Eastern Europe near borders with Russia will trigger a painful reaction in Russia, military columnist Alyaksandr Alesin believes.

In response, Russia will step up its military presence, especially in Kaliningrad region, but also in Belarus, he supposes.

    «I think Belarus will not be able to shy away from accepting additional Russian troops in its territory. And they are unlikely to be infantry or tank units. There is every likelihood that we will witness placing tactical Iskander missile systems here. Perhaps they will be deployed somewhere in Brest region. Maybe, they will be located on the border with Lithuania. It seems that the aviation group that is to be deployed in Babruisk, will be bolstered by Su-34 bombers, which dramatically increase the danger of military confrontation in our region,» the expert said.

In his opinion, the aggravation of relations between Russia and NATO will inevitably lead to Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s military preparations.

«We are very loyal ally in the Union State, in the the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In addition, Belarus is a bulge extended into the interior of NATO, it is a salient. Belarus is close to Warsaw, close to Kyiv and Vilnius, that is, in theory, to all NATO bases which will be placed in the Baltic States and Poland. These bases will be a soft targed for aviation and short-range ballistic missile system deployed in the territory of Belarus. Everyone tries to find a place to hit hard, and if Russia wants to hurt Poland, Belarus is the best strategic position for it,» Alesin stressed.

According to the military analyst, the next steps toward the Cold War have been made, which may soon reach the level of stiffness that was in the days of the Soviet Union.

    «The Cold War — what is this? This is a situation where one party makes a move and the other responds with even steeper one. Therefore, the most dangerous thing is escalation, when every movement of troops in our region arouses wariness, causes a reaction, troops are placed on alert, intelligence, intelligence services are strengthened,» Alyaksandr Alesin said.

From his perspective, placing NATO heavy weapons close to the border with Russia is a big mistake, because it will not ramp up the security of Poland and the Baltic states. But these areas may become a target for additional dozens or even hundreds of missiles, warheads and Iskander systems.

    «The situation will aggravate and no one will benefit from it. The measures that the US and its allies are taking will not lead to enhancing the security of the Baltic and Poland. Conversely, Russia possesses a lot of extra warheads, Iskanders systems against which Poland, for example, has nothing, i.e air defense is not able to intercept them. And Poland will be the target for warheads.»

In the near future, the U.S. command intends to deploy heavy weapons, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, in Poland, the country’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak announced. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, three ex-Soviet states, are also set to host an American heavy weapons.

Russia has repeatedly criticized U.S. plans to deploy military equipment close to its border, blaming NATO for violating the system of European security.

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