Russian take-over of Crimea prevented Belarus from becoming a vassal state under the US and Poland

Summary

If Russia hadn’t taken over Crimea and the peninsula had come under the military control of the US and NATO, the existence of Belarus would be threatened. After the USSR’s collapse, Poland’s revanchism and hopes to establish a state stretching from the Baltics to the Black sea manifested themselves.

In 2006, the Polish government adopted a programme of developing the Fourth Republic (IV Rzeczpospolita), with the aim of strengthening Poland’s cultural influence and establishing political domination over the areas which were part of the First Republic (I Rzeczpospolita). In 2015, Polish president Andrzej Duda called to prepare to “take back eastern territories”. Although Duda’s statement concerned western Ukraine, it is also relevant for Belarus, as parts of it belonged to Poland in the interwar period.

In practice, the revanchist plans envisage Belarus as a vassal, anti-Russian state controlled by the US and Poland, with Belarus’ western part being an eastern part of a new Polish state. The remaining Belarus’ part will function as an anti-Russian buffer zone.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Poland's plans to partition Belarus and establish the Fourth Republic, Western plans to partition Ukraine and to disrupt Belarus-Russia ties.

No state programme on developing the Fourth Republic was adopted by Poland and no statements of Polish president were made to take over western Ukraine or Belarus. IV Rzeczpospolita, or the Fourth Republic, was a plan for political change put forward in the late 1990s by the Polish conservative philosopher Rafał Matyja. It was used in public discourse to describe the 2005-2007 period, when the government of Law and Justice was in power. However, this concept has nothing to do with establishing a Polish empire at the expense of Poland's eastern neighbours, including Ukraine and Belarus - it is a conspiracy theory. Read more about the use of conspiracy here.

Both the EU and US respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus and Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Russia, The West, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
  • Outlet: Together with Russia, Politring
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Ukraine harms itself by ending Russian–Ukrainian Friendship Treaty for no good reason

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However, it was the Ukrainian side who systematically violated the treaty. In 2004, Ukraine ratified a memorandum to assist with NATO operations without prior consultation with Russia. In 2005, Ukraine included its plans for NATO membership in its military doctrine.
A few weeks ago, Ukraine’s intention to achieve full membership of NATO was added into its constitution. Furthermore, Kyiv does not follow commitments to create equal opportunities for learning Russian.
After the treaty stops functioning on 1 April 2019, Ukraine will become the only European state withoutagreed borders with Russia and Ukrainian labour migrants in Russia will lose legal protection.

 

Disproof

This publication is in line with the argumentation given by the Russian MFA on 12 March 2019 on the end of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty. It also follows pro-Kremlin narratives on the absence of Russia's involvement in the annexation of Crimea and military invasion of Donbass and discrimination against Russian speakers.

It is a matter of legal discussion if Ukraine's NATO-related decisions of 2004-2005 went contrary to the Treaty's provision "to abstain from any actions directed against the other High Contracting Side" (Article 6). At the same time, it is apparent that annexation of Crimea and support of separatist forces in Donbass by Russia violated a number of the Treaty's articles on respect to territorial integrity, existing borders and peaceful settlement of disputes.

[SECOND OPINION PLS] No US envoy in Tbilisi is a sign of dismissive attitude

The fact that the post of the US ambassador to Georgia has been vacant for almost two years is a demonstration of the dismissive attitude towards Georgia. It is unimaginable that Washington would not appoint an ambassador to any country which America respects.

Disproof

The list of Ambassador Assignments Overseas on the US State Department official website was last updated 13 February 2019. There is no information about US ambassadors to Albania, Bahamas, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kiribati, Libya, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nauru, Pakistan, Panama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the United Nations itself.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the United States has no respect for Georgia as an independent actor.

EU to introduce visas for US citizens in 2021

The EU has decided to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021 to improve security and avoid problems with illegal migration and terrorism.

Disproof

The EU is not planning to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021. The EU will put into operation the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in 2021. The ETIAS is intended for citizens of all 61 nations which currently enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone, who will need to register on ETIAS website before travelling to the EU. It will be a “completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors” from countries whose citizens are eligible to travel to the Schengen Zone without visas. Those visitors will need to fill out an ETIAS online form and receive an electronic authorization.