Updated at 13:30,09-04-2024

Belarus unveils new military doctrine amid Armenia's criticism

Jaroslaw Adamowski, Defense News

The Belarusian parliament passed the first reading of the country’s new military doctrine, which prohibits its armed forces from participating in military operations abroad.

The doctrine's passage has been met with criticism by Armenia, which is Belarus’ ally in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russia-led military alliance.

"Our military doctrine is purely defensive," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told the state-run news agency BelTA. "We will never fight on someone else's territory because we are committed to a defensive military doctrine."

The draft doctrine reflects Belarus’ stance on the military conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

"There have never been any threats to Ukraine from our land, our territory, and never will be. We pursue the peace-loving policy and will do our best to normalize the situation in Ukraine," Lukashenko said.

However, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said the contents of the draft military doctrine are a problem for the entire CSTO. Kocharyan told local news agency Armenpress that his government has "openly told Belarus" that its new doctrine could "create a concern" for Minsk’s allies.

CSTO was set up in 1992, and its members comprise Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.