Belarus Foreign Policy Index №19 (March and April 2014)

Belarus Foreign Policy Index №19 (March and April 2014)

BISS presents the nineteenth issue of Belarus Foreign Policy Index, a publication which analyzes the status of Belarus’s five foreign policy priority areas in March and April 2014.

Official Minsk is striving to procure the most favorable environment within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), primarily by way of tackling the issue of transfer of export duties on oil products back to the Russian budget.

The Belarus–EU relationship saw continued active diplomatic contacts and consultations. However, there is no visible progress. The main problems in the relations between Belarus and the EU remain the same. The substantial agenda that started to be outlined in late 2013 is still in is embryo stage.

The relations with Ukraine have gained strategic importance for both countries, which is evidenced by the all-time high index. Belarus is interested in retaining one of the largest target markets for its products, whereas Kyiv wishes to ensure the security of its northern border and uninterrupted supplies of oil products. Lukashenka was quick to establish friendly relations with Ukraine’s new pro-Western administration. Furthermore, the geopolitical developments in the region bring back hopes that the policy of maneuvering between Russia and the West might be given a new life.

In March and April 2014, the Belarus–China relationship kept developing against the backdrop of increasing disappointment of the Belarusian administration with the prospects of this collaboration. The Chinese lobby and associated Chinese businesses began simulating a vigorous activity in order to show a breakthrough in the mutual relations. During the period under review, the trend towards the promotion of cooperation that is beneficial primarily for China continued.

Belarus seeks to restore its former relations with Iran and establish a closer collaboration with the Middle East. In its relationship with the Developing World, Minsk introduces new collaboration mechanisms without confining itself to efforts to boost trade.

Read the full texts of the Foreign Policy Index in PDF