Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index №10 (September–October 2012)

Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index №10 (September–October 2012)

We are pleased to present the tenth issue of Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index, which examines five areas of Belarus’s foreign policy in the September – October of 2012.

Our experts have noted a number of significant changes that have an impact on the relations of the official Minsk with our close and distant neighbours.

The Russian vector has strengthened again. In exchange for the participation of Belarus in the integration projects, implemented under the aegis of Russia, the Kremlin continues to fully support Minsk in the political sphere. However, the period under review is simultaneously characterized by the increasing conflict between Russia and Belarus, related to the unwillingness of the Belarusian authorities to fulfil their obligations and the reciprocal reduction of the economic support by the Kremlin.

The relations with the European Union, having survived another crisis, have re-entered the stage of “event vacuum” again. The ambiguity in the relations continues, since, in the present situation, neither the official Minsk, nor Brussels are ready to make concessions and to renew the political relations at the high level.

A notable intensification of the relations with China has been observed. It refers to the attempt of Minsk to draw China in the political relations between Belarus and Russia in order to obtain additional preferences. Meanwhile, the frustration is growing as regards the Chinese investments which do not bring the expected results – fast and easy money.

The relations with the developing countries have been slightly reanimated, mainly because in terms of trade. The activity in this area is accompanied by the loud rhetoric, but often achieves the minimal tangible results.

After the summer higher activity period, the Ukrainian vector has fallen back to zero. During this period, a tendency emerged for the exacerbation of the tension in the trade relations due to the plans of Kiev to restrict the import of gasoline from Belarus. At the political level the relations were frozen. The visit of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov to Minsk, which was repeatedly postponed since the last fall, finally failed to take place.

Read the full text of the Index in PDF