Meeting of Belarus’ Security Council

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On 16 January, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a Security Council meeting to discuss two key strategic documents - the draft national security concept and the draft military doctrine of Belarus.

According to the head of state, one of the reasons why this meeting is important is because both documents should be approved by the Belarusian People’s Congress as proscribed by the new Constitution.

The transformation of national security risks, challenges and threats were described in detail in the concept and the military doctrine, the head of state remarked. “Many of the estimates and forecasts laid out in the documents are already materializing,” the Belarusian leader noted.

The situation in the Middle East is a case in point, the President remarked. “A terrible humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. Please note that threats to use nuclear weapons were voiced almost immediately after the escalation of the conflict. And, as is usually the case, no sanctions followed on the part of the ‘civilized’ West. Just clichéd statements as if nothing had happened,” said the head of state. “Unfortunately, we were thrown back to a time when military force was the main argument in interstate relations,” the President noted.

The new military doctrine fully takes into account the dramatically changing military and political situation and new military risks. Approaches to determining the nature of modern military conflicts have also been updated in order to develop an efficient strategy in case the country will have to take to arms to defend itself.

The President recalled that last year, following a Security Council meeting where the draft national security concept was approved by and large, a task was set to draft a new concept in an informal way and put it out for public debate involving scientists, experts, and mass media. The head of state gave an instruction to discuss this document in detail and study people's opinions. “After all, ensuring national security is our common task, a task of every citizen of Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

In this regard, the head of state asked about the outcomes of the public discussion of the concept.

The revised national security concept draft was approved at a meeting of the Security Council in February 2023. The head of state ordered a public discussion of this important document before submitting it for approval to the Belarusian People’s Congress.

Throughout the year, 70 discussion platforms were arranged in all regions of the country, at government agencies and state-run organizations, with labor collectives, at educational institutions, trade unions and public associations. Attending these discussions were representatives of the scientific and expert community, major religious denominations, and civil society.

At the Security Council meeting on 16 January, the head of state will hear out proposals that are to be included in the updated concept based on the results of the public discussion. They have to do primarily with additional protection for the institution of traditional family, plans to increase corporate social responsibility, ways to narrow the development gap between various regions. The proposals specify the list of national security forces, define the concepts used and the procedure for approving a system of indicative assessment of the state of national security.

The decision to revise the military doctrine was made after the new edition of the national security concept was approved in February 2023. The new military doctrine does not provide for a drastic revision of the state’s military policy; its current principles remain unchanged, so does its defensive nature.

The document is public, transparent, consistent, methodological, specific, and in step with today’s realities. At the same time, the focus is on such national values as peace, stability, and security.

The new military doctrine unpacks the country's military policy. In particular, it is emphasized that Belarus is a peaceful country that does not threaten anyone. Yet, the country will push back against any attempts to interfere in internal affairs or to use military force and will respond to any aggression.

After approval by the Security Council, the drafts of the new national security concept and the military doctrine will be submitted for approval to the Belarusian People’s Congress.