Russia is planning to Absorbing neighboring Belarus By 2030, according to a document allegedly leaked from the Russian presidential administration.
The document was obtained and published by an international consortium of journalists from news organizations including Yahoo News and Germany Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The document, which reportedly dates back to the summer of 2021, outlines a plan to infiltrate Belarus politically, economically, and militarily. Plans are drawn up at different stages: short-term or until 2022, medium-term or until 2025 and long-term, meaning 2030.
The long-term plan translates into the formation of a joint “union state” under Russian leadership.
Both countries are already officially part of the so-called “Union State,” according to the 1999 agreement. The agreement lays the legal basis for integration between the two countries.
However, the media that obtained the document in question indicates that Russia’s plans revolve around the annexation of Belarus by 2030.
What does the document say?
The 17-page document titled “The Strategic Objectives of the Russian Federation in Belarus” talks about blocking Western influence in the region and immunizing against NATO.
If such a plan ever materialized, Russia would become direct neighbors with Lithuania and Poland, which are members of NATO and the European Union.
Belarus was once part of the former Soviet Union, and has maintained strong ties with Russia after the collapse of the union thanks to the policies of Alexander Lukashenko, who has presided over the country since 1994.
The country’s last election, in 2020, was contested and met with jailing of opposition candidates and nationwide protests after Lukashenko claimed victory. Thousands were arrested in an ensuing crackdown.
The United States and the European Union responded by not recognizing Lukashenko as the country’s president.
How valid is the document?
Both Yahoo News and Sueddeutsche Zeitung They said they spoke to analysts and experts who confirmed the authenticity of the document.
Yahoo News quoted an unnamed Western official as saying that the document was prepared by the Presidential Directorate for Cross-Border Cooperation.
The subdivision of Putin’s presidential administration was created in October 2018. The source told Yahoo News that the subdivision is tasked with proposing new strategies to achieve Russia’s strategic goals in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova.
An unnamed Western intelligence officer told Yahoo News that the Russian intelligence services and armed forces had all contributed to the plan.
Material from Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.
Edited by: Amanda Rifkin
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