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October 19 – October 25, 2015

Can Belarus Stick to Neutrality Despite Russian Pressure?

The situation has not changed
Can Belarus Stick to Neutrality Despite Russian Pressure?

Last week, pro-government Russian experts and media launched a new series of attacks on the Belarusian government. Minsk, they insisted, is going the way of Yanukovych’s Ukraine.

Russian commentators agree on that regardless of their ideological colours. Be it the liberal Kommersant daily, government-affiliated think tanks or the radical right-wing Zavtra daily. They warn Lukashenka of Yanukovych’s fate.

The attacks have been triggered by Lukashenka’s statement that the issue of the Russian airbase is far from settled. Minsk already irritated Moscow by its cautious building up neutrality since the late 2000s.

Moreover, while earlier Minsk could collude in Russia’s politics with influential right- and left-wing elements who dreamt of restoring a multinational empire, it now has to deal with new powerful forces which hate compromise with allies like Lukashenka. Exclusive Russian nationalism is ever more influencing Moscow’s policy.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.
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