To answer NATO, Moscow could use “the Belarusian balcony”

Recently in the German port of Bremerhaven arrived three us transport ship — Resolve (“Resolve”), Freedom (“Liberty”), and Endurance (“Persistence”), on Board of which were units of the 3rd armoured brigade 4th infantry division of the US army.

That Washington plans to deploy in Eastern Europe armored brigade group became known at the end of April 2016. As reported by the then commander in chief of the European command of US armed forces (EUCOM), General Philip Breedlove, this measure is a reaction to the aggressive policy of the Kremlin.

All within the mission of Atlantic Resolve United States plan to throw in seven European countries 87 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 20 self-propelled artillery M109 Paladin, 136 infantry fighting vehicles Bradley, trucks and military vehicles, as well as some 3,500 soldiers from the 3rd armored brigade combat team, 4th infantry division.

Unlike the American units stationed in Germany and Italy, the 3rd brigade will be hosted by individual departments on rotational basis, initially in Poland, with a further relocation to other countries of Eastern Europe.

Furthermore, America takes 50 multipurpose Black Hawk helicopters, 10 transport helicopter CH-47 Chinook and 1800 soldiers of the 10th combat aviation brigade, which will be deployed at air force base 3rd wing of transport aviation of the Polish army (city Powidz).

As a separate aviation units in Europe will be deployed 24 attack helicopter AH-64 Apache.

In addition, in the spring of 2017, in accordance with the decision of the Warsaw summit of heads of state and government of NATO countries, expected to be placed on the Eastern flank of NATO (the Baltic States and Poland) four multinational battalions in Estonia, UK, Latvia — Canada, Lithuania — German, in Poland — American.

Battalions will be stationed on permanent bases, their personnel would be variable. In some battalions, separate companies will be multinational.

As stated by the permanent representative of Russia to NATO Alexander Grushko, the deployment of a new contingent of American troops will further complicate Russia’s relations with the Alliance. The permanent representative described the plans of the military leadership of the US as “the next step, reinforcing NATO’s transition to a confrontational security scheme”.

The Kremlin’s reaction to the arrival of the armored brigade of the United States in Europe were restrained. Perhaps this is due to the expectation of the entry of Donald trump in the post. But, in principle, to leave the steps NATO is not the answer — it wouldn’t be like Vladimir Putin. The question is, how hard will be the answer. But on this occasion remained silent, that generates all sorts of comments.

NATO tanks on the way. Russia will dig in Belarus?

For example, it is suggested that in response to the strengthening of the American contingent in Europe, Russia is likely to put Russian troops on the territory of Belarus with the purpose of protection from capacity building of NATO near the borders of the Union state. This would be an adequate response to the deployment of us troops in Poland and the Baltic States, says the publication in the Russian military-analytical resource

The author believes that participation in the preparation of the joint response to the increasing offensive potential of NATO to the Western borders of the common defense space gives Minsk an opportunity to demonstrate Moscow’s readiness to fulfill its obligations within the CSTO and the Union state.

If Minsk is stubborn, Moscow has “enough leverage over its ally and partner. One of them is the dependence of Belarus on Russia, especially in economic terms. “Turn” gas and oil pipe, the Kremlin can reach an agreement with Lukashenka to the emergence of the Russian military in Belarus.”

Some commentators believe that Belarus itself may ask Russia for protection from NATO. So, at the end of October 2016 British expert Kir Giles in the Independent noted: “Although the redeployment of NATO forces affected most of the country, where they will be placed, and Russia, other States in the region will also feel the side effects”.

Special attention in this respect, the author has given it Belarus. He believes that in contrast to Moscow, where statements about what it is surrounded by NATO, is based on fantasy, Minsk such an environment can be felt as a fact. “How Belarus will react and the Russian proposals on the “protection” of NATO, may be another potential troublesome source of tension in Eastern Europe” — says the analyst.

It is obvious that without the participation of Belarus serious retaliatory measures against the Eastern members of NATO Russia can not be taken. Even if you have the necessary forces and means without the use of the Belarusian foothold, they can’t do. Military analysts have long called Belarus a wedge driven into the depths of the North Atlantic bloc, “a strategic balcony” hanging over the European theater of operations.

Hence their conclusion that Moscow will keep the Minsk as its military-political ally, come what may. Consequently, the recent friction between the countries will not be able to affect the strategic aspects of their relationship.

It can be expected that tensions in the economic sphere in the near future will be resolved by compromise. However, it is a prerequisite to compliance by Belarus in the strategic interests of Russia.

Therefore, obviously, we should recall the session of the joint Collegium of the defense ministries of Belarus and Russia on 2 November in Minsk. The main issue was response to extension of the military contingents of NATO to the Western borders of Union state.

The Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu then said that the US and its allies are actively increasing your offensive potential at the borders of the Union state, creating new databases and developing military infrastructure. The Russian leadership forced to take retaliatory measures, including in the Western strategic direction. Here it is made clear Shoigu, counting on the assistance of Belarusian partners.

Speaking about the planned in 2017 joint military exercises, the head of the Russian defense Ministry noted that they will consider the activity of NATO near the borders of the Union state.

Recall that the next strategic exercises “West-2017” will be held in September simultaneously in several Russian and Belarusian landfills.