President Putin just gave an important interview to the Russian journalist Sergei Brilev in which he indicated that
- Russia and Belarus are allies in the CSTO
- Russia and Belarus are also Union states
- Russia has obligations towards Belarus
- Lukashenko has invoked these obligations
- Putin has agreed to create a “security reserve force” which is ready to intervene in Belarus in case of danger for the Belarusian state and sovereignty
- Putin added that these forces will only be used if “extremist elements” violently threaten the security and/or stability of the Belarusian state
- Putin added that there is no need for such a force now, and he hopes that there never will be
- Putin also added that neither the state nor the demonstrators should violate Belarusian laws (he did add that Belarusian cops are much less violent than the cops in the US).
It is important here NOT to start guessing what that force is, what it can do, etc.
Because Russia already had such forces, including light mobile military and police forces.
No, what is important is that Putin has just drawn a red line and made an implicit threat.
I consider that threat as absolutely credible. Recall that just a few days ago, Putin told western leaders to stay out of Belarus, and at least some of them now clearly got the message (not all, obviously).
But, first and foremost, this is a direct warning for Poland and the Baltic statlets: stay out or else…
This is also a clear message to Tikhanovskaia and her puppet-masters: forget about Belarus leaving the CSTO or the Union state; also forget about Belarus joining the EU or NATO. Ain’t gonna happen.
I am sure that we will post the full interview either dubbed or with English subs later today or tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you what I consider a watershed moment in the Belarus crisis.
I will keep you posted here should there be any updates.
PS: full Russian speakers, this is the link to the original interview
Full English Transcript is here
UPDATE: as predicted, the Poles are hysterical, see for yourself:
🇵🇱 government urges Russia to immediately withdraw from plans of a military intervention in Belarus, under false excuse of ‘restoring control’ – a hostile act, in breach of international law and human rights of Belarusian people, who should be free to decide their own fate.
— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) August 27, 2020