The Belarusian light industry can take a deep breath of relief because it has finally reached the global market. However, there is a nuance. This is the Chechnya market. And it is still unknown what consequences such «profitable» order will backfire on our textile manufacturer.
Russian news agency TASS informed about the plans of the Belarusian company Mogoteх, a well-known textile manufacturer in Belarus, to launch a project in Chechnya on sewing military uniforms. A local company Erzu will become a partner of a Belarusian company in Russia’s Caucasus region; production of military uniforms will begin there this year. Minister of Chechnya on Industry and Energy Adam Khakimov told journalists about this.
It was stated that at the first stage the joint-venture company would plan to sew products worth 50 million Russian rubles (approximately $650,000). Khakimov also said in this regard, «They will produce and sell [military uniforms] here, as the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has instructed us to set up clothing production in the region for the needs of the SMO (Note: Russian propagandists call war in Ukraine SMO – special military operation.» Also, according to the Chechen Minister, on March 20 a delegation from Belarus headed by the chairman of the state concern Bellegprom Tatiana Lugina arrived in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny. Among other things, the purpose of the visit was to discuss possible cooperation arrangements, including the opening of multi-brand shops of Belarusian clothing and footwear in the region. Their task will be to replace Western brands that have left Russia.
«Light industry is one of the leading developed sectors in the Republic of Belarus and I am very pleased that we started making our first steps with this industry. In fact, this industry in our republic lagged behind other industries due to military campaigns. Today we want to bring the industry to a decent level,» Khakimov added.
There is nothing surprising about such cooperation in itself. Mogotex is the largest manufacturer of military clothing in Belarus. And Ramzan Kadyrov has long been friends with the Alexander Lukashenko’s eldest son Viktor. So, it is very likely that it was Victor Lukashenko who lobbied for the establishment of legally separate subsidiary of Mogotex in Chechnya.
But in reality, this story is not just about the success of the Belarusian light industry. Especially because sewing military uniforms for budget money is highly doubtful commercial success, it’s nothing to brag about.
The important thing is that it has been publicly announced: the Belarusian civil-sector company begins to serve Russia’s military needs directly. And the aforementioned needs are not just military ones, but related to Russian aggression against Ukraine. After all, uniforms for the military are ammunition. It’s direct supplies for war, it’s not even dual-use goods, such as trucks that can carry grain or can carry shells.
It turns out that Mogotex and all related enterprises in Belarus become a legitimate target for international sanctions. And these are the toughest sanctions designed to limit any further Russia’s military buildup as much as possible. In other words, Tatyana Lugina, who holds a post equivalent to that of minister, is in fact putting one of Belarus’ most successful enterprises under Western sanctions. After all, it is one thing to produce uniforms for the Belarusian army, police and special services, and quite another to sew for the aggressor’s troops.
Well, after that there’s a bit of conspiracy theory. Not so long ago Ramzan Kadyrov announced plans on creation of his own PMC (private military company). Even today his subordinates, the so-called «kadyrovtsy», act completely independently of the other Russian security forces, without actually obeying anyone except the head of Chechnya. It’s as a real personal army… And the question here is whether only military uniforms will be made for it by the Belarusians? Or are there any other direct arrangements between Minsk and Grozny outside Moscow’s field of view? By the way, there are all kinds of rumours in this regard…