BISS presents the twenty-sixth issue of Belarus Foreign Policy Index, in which we review the country’s foreign policy in the five key dimensions in May and June 2015.
During this period Belarus maintained a friendly tone in its relations with Russia, seeking to stay within the track of its commitments as Russia’s ally. Slump in two-way trade continued, and Minsk tried making up for it elsewhere in the world.
Contacts with the European Union further stepped up in the run-up to the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga, which, nevertheless, did not come to the desired expectations. Belarus continues balancing cautiously between Russia and the EU while doing its utmost not to provoke its eastern neighbor.
The centerpiece of the relationship between Belarus and China during the two months under review was the visit of President of China Xi Jinping. Originally designed to give a powerful impetus to the bilateral relations, the visit did never yield the results expected by both countries, though. Official Minsk’s hopes to garner substantial financial support from China did not come true; however, China did not succeed, either, in having Belarus offer it additional concessions.
Belarus seeks to step up its cooperation with the countries of the Middle East and South Asia, which have close connections with the West. Minsk also succeeded in providing a new impetus to its relationships with the largest economies of South Asia by maneuvering between Pakistan and India. The military and technical component has expanded in Belarus’s contacts with the developing world in recent months.
The relationship with Ukraine has become less active in the public sphere, mostly because of the upcoming presidential election in Belarus and unwillingness to incite further confrontation with the Kremlin; however, it remains constructive and mutually beneficial.
Read the full text of the twenty-sixth issue of Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index in PDF