Belarus

Belarus After the Storm: A Time Bomb

With opposition leaders now either imprisoned or fled, president Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus is facing some tough choices in both the domestic- and foreign-policy theatres. Having lost the support of many Belarusians, infuriating the West and demonstrating weakness to Russia, Lukashenko’s chances of pulling off a peaceful transition of power akin to the “Kazakh scenario” seem challenging.

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USSR 2.0 Is Failing

On 4 October, the people of Kyrgyzstan went to the polls in parliamentary elections. As a result, four parties came to power, three of them directly related to the country’s incumbent government and declaring pro-Russian policies.

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Putin’s Contracting Matrix

Determined to ensure that in retreat, he imposes the maximum pain on others, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin is making the most of the increasingly unforgiving constraints of his environment.

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Integration for the Sake of Salvation

The domestic power base of dictator Alexander Lukashenko is now mostly limited to Belarus’ security structures. Although he is still popular with aged babushkas and dedushkas, who see no reason for or even fear change, Lukashenko can no longer count on blue-collar support from the ‘working collectives’ of the large state-owned factories, or from the younger generations of Belarusians protesting with the white-red-white flags he detests.

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The EU Should Be Prepared to Defend the Independence of Belarus

With Belarus rapidly moving towards a post-Lukashenko era, the EU has no credible option but to support Belarusians’ bottom-up demands for democracy. This has geopolitical implications that the EU needs to be prepared to address. Russia is determined to maintain control over Belarus and likely to perceive the EU’s engagement as undesirable if not threatening.

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Belarus. At a Crossroads Again?

On 1 February 2020, President Alexander Lukashenka, President of Belarus for 25+ years and the longest-serving president in Europe, met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Minsk. This occasion marked the first time since 1994 that the US Secretary of State has visited Belarus.

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Going Past Monopoly: Developing a Balanced Baltic Sea Regional Gas Market

In the last half-decade, the three Baltic states have made dramatic progress towards diversifying their energy supplies, especially of natural gas. This progress—brought about thanks to remarkable political will as well as improved regional cooperation—has resulted in considerable economic benefit while decreasing the three countries’ vulnerability to outside pressure. Yet, much remains to be done in order to complete the three countries’ internal markets.

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