Ukraine warns Belarus that Moscow is planning to launch a military attack against the country under a “false flag” operation and then pin the blame back on Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials say that Belarus may be the target of a false-flag operation masterminded by Moscow. Kyiv’s alleged attempt to carry out sabotage at Belarusian critical infrastructure sites is what Russian intelligence warns against, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry’s Intelligence Division says Russia is planning a series of provocations against Belarus’ vital infrastructure, then blaming Ukraine for them.
Russia is likely to carry out false flag operations in Belarus’ Hrodno and Brest regions, which border Ukraine and the European Union, the directorate said. The Astravets Nuclear Power Plant is reportedly a primary target.
Ukraine has consistently denounced any attempts to interfere in Belarus’ internal affairs and has said it will not take part in any operations against its neighbor. President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky made similar statements, vowing that Ukraine would stay out of Russia’s plans to destabilize Belarus.
It is clear what Moscow wants from Belarus. It is trying to create a pretext for deploying its troops in the country and pushing out Ukraine from the region. The Kremlin wants Belarus to become a vassal state, which would be used as a buffer against Kyiv’s pro-Western ambitions.
Russia’s aggressive attitude towards Ukraine raises concerns about the current situation in Belarus. While it is still unclear what Moscow’s plans are, it is clear that Ukraine and Belarus will have to coordinate efforts in order to prevent any provocations or military conflicts. It is important for the two countries to stand together, united against any attempts of interference from third parties. By doing so, both states can exercise their sovereignty, protect their citizens and
Belarus’ Continued Support for Russia
According to the Community of Railroad Workers of Belarus, an initiative of railway workers of the Belarusian opposition, 65,000 metric tons of ammunition were sent from Belarus to Russia.
In April 2017, Belarus exported over 22,000 metric tons of ammunition to Russia, the highest amount since the initiative began. The initiative also recorded a spike in September 2017, when over 14,000 metric tons of ammunition were exported to Russia.
In October, Minsk transferred 211 military equipment units from Belarus to Russia, including tanks, military vehicles, and infantry fighting vehicles.
Russia has relied on Belarus’ railway system since the beginning of its full-scale invasion to transport troops and equipment, including to the battle line in Ukraine.
Belarus’ railway system has become a target for Belarusian railroad saboteurs, who are opposed to the war.
Between March and May, Belarusian authorities detained 38 railway workers. Since then, authorities have applied pressure to many Belarusian railway workers.
The Supreme Rada: Divide Between Ukraine and Belarus
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has attempted to strengthen its relationships with Western countries. Unfortunately, this has caused tension with Belarus, which has remained closely aligned with Russia.
One source of tension between the two countries is their history of double taxation. In 1994, Ukraine and Belarus signed a treaty to prevent tax evasion and double taxation of citizens.
The Supreme Rada Treaty is a document that was created to prevent tax evasion and double taxation of citizens between Ukraine and Belarus. However, in 2017, the Supreme Rada voted 304-0 in favor of terminating the treaty. This means that starting in 2018, Belarusians living in Ukraine will have to pay the regular 15% tax rather than the customary 10% levy. Additionally, Ukraine will not be required to exchange tax-related information with Belarus.
There are several reasons why the Supreme Rada terminated the treaty. Firstly, Ukraine is looking to further “cut off economic and financial ties” with Russia due to its involvement in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Secondly, the treaty’s termination will help boost Ukraine’s economy by encouraging foreign investment. Finally, some legislators argue that the treaty’s termination will help protect Ukrainian businesses from unfair competition from Belarusian companies.
Despite these arguments, many disagree with the termination of the treaty. Some believe it will increase tensions between Ukrainians and Belarusians, while others argue that it will negatively impact trade between the two countries. Furthermore, there are concerns that the termination of the treaty could lead to increased tax evasion and double taxation.
According to Ukraine’s Finance Ministry, terminating economic and financial ties with Belarus is part of a strategy to further “cut off economic and financial ties” with a co-belligerent in Russia’s full-scale war. However, it is still being determined what this will mean for the future of relations between Ukraine and Belarus.
The agreement between Kyiv and Minsk aimed at preventing tax evasion and double taxation of citizens has been terminated by Ukraine’s parliament. 304 Ukrainian legislators voted to end the treaty, which had been in effect since 1994.
According to Ukraine’s Finance Ministry, cutting off economic and financial ties with Belarus is part of a strategy to further “cut off economic and financial ties” with a co-belligerent in Russia’s full-scale war.
There is no clear consensus on whether or not terminating the double taxation treaty will have a negative impact on bilateral relations between Ukraine and Belarus. Some experts argue that the move could harm trade and investment between the two countries, while others maintain that it could help to further isolate Belarus from the West.
At this point, it is difficult to say definitively whether or not Belarus and Ukraine can trust each other in this situation.