Belarus is committed to maintain and expand constructive cooperation with NATO on principles of mutual respect. Basing on its multi-vector foreign policy and participation in international security structures, Belarus is determined to contribute to the preservation of peace and the achievement of the strategic goal – the creation of an indivisible Euro-Atlantic security.
The history of relations between Belarus and NATO began in 1992, when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, which was transformed into the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997.
In 1995, the Republic of Belarus joined the “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) Programme, viewing it as an important tool to strengthen cooperation in the political, military, economic, scientific and legal fields with NATO as a whole as well as with NATO Allies.
Meetings and consultations are held with NATO International Staff and International Military Staff, including on Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program (IPCP) and PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) issues.
The IPCP is a main planning document of Belarus participation in the PfP, which is annually updated. The first Individual Partnership Program with Belarus was endorsed by the NATO Council in July 1997. IPCP specifies Belarus-NATO cooperation priorities, main activities to be attended by the representatives of Belarus, as well as forces and assets allocated by the Belarusian side for the benefit of the PfP.
Currently, cooperation is being carried out in accordance with the IPCP for 2020–2021 period.
Belarus attaches great importance to the implementation of the IPCP and considers it as a tool for development of practical cooperation with NATO in areas such as arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, civil emergency planning, military education, training for the participation in multinational operations, language training.
Belarus-NATO agenda also includes consultations on confidence and security building measures (CSBM) initiated by Belarus in 2015. Their goal is a direct and open expert dialogue aimed at increasing the level of trust and transparency. Up to now, four rounds of consultations have taken place.
The PARP is a mechanism with the main task to develop the framework of military cooperation with NATO. Belarus joined it in 2004. Fulfillment of Partnership Goals, selected within PARP, allows gaining relevant experience in improving the training of the Armed Forces of Belarus, with the possible aim of enabling their participation in multinational peace operations.
Within the PARP both sides exchange delegations and the NATO headquarters holds meetings in Belarus + NATO format at the level of military and civilian experts to determine the Partnership Goals and assess the intermediate results of their implementation.
Belarus not only gains experience form NATO Allies regarding the creation and functioning of the modern armed forces, but is also ready to provide its own training facilities and expertise for the benefit of other partner countries. Since 2013 specialised training courses conducted by the Ministry of Defense are open to all EAPC countries, including NATO Allies.
Belarus made an essential contribution to the NATO-led anti-terrorist operation carried out by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1386 (2001). In particular, Belarus provided its airspace for transit of military and civil cargo.
NATO Allies and other nations contributing to ISAF also performed rail transit through Belarus of non-lethal supplies from 2009 and armoured vehicles, which moved without weapons and munitions, from 2013.
In 2013–2014 Belarus initiated a number of events on response to emergencies during high visibility sports events. In particular, a table top exercise and a seminar focused on preparation to the World Ice Hockey Championship 2014 in Minsk were held in NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
In 2017 a rescue team from Belarus Ministry of Emergency participated in EADRCC Exercises in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 2018 – in EADRCC Exercises in Serbia.
Belarusian scientists have participated in NATO Science for Peace Programme.
The consultations of Belarusian and NATO experts in the scientific field (Information Day), which took place on October 16, 2019, in Minsk, contributed to the development of working contacts with representatives of the scientific departments and agencies of Alliance, as well as scientists from NATO member states and partner countries.
Rigorous practical work to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with the Alliance and its individual members goes on, taking into account the generally accepted principles of international law, mutual trust and respect.