Fronda.pl: Russia is going to spend this year on the territory of Belarus exercises “West-2017”. Ukrainian military analyst Oleksiy arestovich says that the Russians will be able to occupy Belarus. Russian troops (or at least part of them) might just not return from the exercise. Do you think this scenario really realistic?
Witold yurash (Witold Jurasz): it is not so simple. The key question is how many Russian troops eventually will go to Belarus. The Russians ordered 4200 rail cars. This is enough to throw not a brigade, not a division, but a whole army. In this case, this scenario is quite imaginable, because it is a powerful force. Minsk, in turn, agrees to only 400 cars, which is enough for the transport of the light brigade. Of key importance not only for Belarus, but Poland will have the number of troops will eventually come
— If Russia really will transfer to our border army, will have to strengthen the NATO forces, because the Russians will be able not only to occupy Belarus, but also to take the offensive in the Baltic States and even Poland.
— How can we prevent the development of this gloomy scenario?
— First, we should raise the question of scale doctrines “the West-2017” at the international level. I am surprised that this is not yet happening. We should support Belarus in its efforts to limit the number of Russian forces. After conversations with U.S. analysts during the war game, which was recently held in Warsaw, I came to the conclusion that the West has realized the need to look at Belarus in the context of international security, overshadowing the theme of democracy. Poland is traditionally difficult, but it is time to pursue his personal interests. At the same time you can not forget about the values (though the most important value is their own safety) and, for example, emphasize in the dialogue with Minsk, we will focus on human rights, not on democracy. In other words, it is possible to send a signal that we are not going to deal with the existing regime, but I hope that it will not grossly violate human rights.
— If Putin does not stop hosted in Poland forces of the United States, is there anything that will stop it before further expansion?
— I think this topic should be approached calmly. Of course, we can’t look at doctrine passively, especially if the troop is as large as it plans Russia. However it should be remembered that the Kremlin elite is a kleptocratic elite. These people have villas on the Cote d’azur, there are their mistresses, and these villas and mistresses they are to give up not ready. In this regard, the probability of the outbreak of some great war not so great. The foregoing does not negate the fact that military planning should take into account the most gloomy scenario.
— You reported that a former senior NATO Fabrice pottier (Fabrice Pothier) talked about wanting trump to cancel entered against Russia sanctions. This does not mean that in the future it decides to withdraw from Poland, American troops?
I don’t know. This is, perhaps, the only honest answer to this question. We encountered the unexpected and unpredictable by the President of the United States administration. The signals are contradictory. On the one hand, there are public statements of the President, on the other, statements of the Secretary of state Tillerson in Congress sounded from our point of view is quite good, although with it we had associated of particular concern. But do not forget that the US President has enormous power. Of course there is the Congress, and a strong system of checks and balances. I think, an important role will also play an American military establishment that is aware of the Russian threat. Its value is a question of image for such a global power like the United States, it is important. Summing up: I can imagine that Washington and Russia will come to some agreement in which both sides will come to a de-escalation of tensions. But this de-escalation does not mean that Americans will turn away from allies, including NATO.
Is the question of image I was talking about. Imagine a scenario in which the United States really turning away from any NATO ally, such as Poland. The situation see, for example, South Korea, which immediately ask yourself the question: is it possible to believe the American statements? The United States, I suspect, don’t want South Korea started developing its own nuclear weapons. Similar conclusions can come and Japan. So, I think some agreement will be, but for us I would not too much worried. I’m more worried for Belarus and Ukraine, they, perhaps, already there is some European and Euro-Atlantic prospects. In other words, we stand on the threshold of a moment in which we have to summarize the last 25 years of our Eastern policy. Fear, we will come to the conclusion that it has suffered a complete fiasco. Maybe it’s time to make personal conclusions about those members of the establishment who were involved in the Eastern policy. For 25 years they talked a lot but did nothing. Returning to our subject: we must fight to ensure that the new agreement meant no transfer of Belarus and Ukraine in the sphere of influence of Russia, and a temporary neutralization. After some time, for example, in 20 years this will allow us to get back in the game in these countries.
— Thank you for the interview.