BISS continues monitoring Belarus’ foreign policy efforts and presents a new issue of Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index, covering January and February 2012.
The focal points of the country’s foreign policy endeavor in this period were obviously the accession to the Common Economic Area (CEA) together with Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as the diplomatic scandal with the European Union that erupted at the end of February. Both events increase Belarus’ dependence on Russia and narrow the room for maneuver.
The authors of the Index believe that Russia’s economic pressure on Belarus will likely increase in the near future, while for now the two countries have taken a pause in their political integration, which was called for by the need for the new Russian president to tackle domestic problems and conduct a political reform.
As for the western vector, it looks like we are in for further escalation of the conflict, albeit subject to certain limitations: Minsk will not dare endanger its very successful trade relations with the European Union and will confine itself to harsh rhetoric and repression targeted against the opposition and civil society.
Read the full text of the Index in PDF