At the end of 2016 – in the beginning of 2017 both sides turned to an open exchange of reprimands and accusations in all spheres of their bilateral cooperation. And on April, 3d, after the lengthy negotiations of Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, the sides unexpectedly stated that they came to terms in all disputable points.
Last Monday, April 3, Lukashenko and Putin met in Saint Petersburg to overcome their controversies. After the meeting they announced that all problems and conflicts will be solved within the next weeks. Arseni Sivitski, director of the Belarusian Centre for Strategic Studies, has serious doubts that this will be the case.
The recent visit of Alexander Lukashenka to Sochi on 15 - 26 February 2017, which did not include an audience with Vladimir Putin, casts the relationship between Minsk and the Kremlin in an ever more ambiguous light.
On 23 – 26 January 2017 a Baltic security wargaming simulation took place in Warsaw. Two defence and security think tanks, the Potomac Foundation and the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, hosted the event.
2016 was marked for Belarus with the mild liberalization of its domestic policy in favour of enhancing dialogue with the West.
Diplomacy between Belarus and Georgia has taken on new life. On 20 December 2016 Belarus finally opened its embassy in Tbilisi. This decision, long and complicated for both sides, has proved their intention to renew bilateral dialogue. This step could also indicate a new Georgia–Belarus strategy towards Russia.
Relations between Belarus and the European Union are still in crisis. An EU resolution on Belarus, delivered on 24 November, once again demonstrated just how weak bilateral relations are. According to the document, the Belarusian government has yet to resolve several key problems hindering the EU-Belarus partnership from progressing further.
Tatiana Cojocari, PhD candidate, Sociological Department, University of Bucharest
Ievgen Afanasiev, MA Student, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
Dzmitry Halubnichy, Junior analyst, Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies
Представляем Вашему вниманию новый доклад Центра стратегических и внешнеполитических исследований:
Как прошли переговоры в Москве? Ситуационный анализ контекста, возможного содержания и последствий переговоров, прошедших между Александром Лукашенко и Владимиром Путиным в Москве 22 ноября 2016 года – Центр стратегических и внешнеполитических исследований. Минск, 2016.
Авторы: Арсений Сивицкий, Юрий Царик.
It seems that the Kremlin is preparing Russian public opinion for a serious crisis in Belarusian-Russian relations. The fruitlessness of Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Moscow also signals that Belarus is refusing to become a Russian military outpost in the event of a confrontation between NATO and the West.