September 4 – September 10, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

Isolationism as a Fundamental Political and Economic Strategy

The situation has not changed
Isolationism as a Fundamental Political and Economic Strategy

As the impact of sanctions and restrictions continues to make itself increasingly felt, addressing sanctions, conscientious actions related to import substitution policies, and related matters are taking up a growing portion of the Union’s agenda.

Sergei Aleinik, the Foreign Minister of Belarus, recently held discussions with Vladimir Titov, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, regarding the coordination of efforts to counter Western sanctions and restrictions, promote import substitution, and execute collaborative projects. Presently, the secondary and delayed consequences of Western sanctions and restrictions are starting to emerge, with additional entities joining the economic boycott of Belarus and Russia. For instance, beginning in October, the British banking group HSBC will cease servicing money transfers from its clients to Russia and Belarus.

Minsk and Moscow are actively formulating a new set of joint import substitution initiatives. A representative from the Permanent Committee of the Union State announced this on September 8. She noted that both countries possess numerous technological advancements that can be applied in the current environment where Western nations are attempting to isolate Belarus and Russia from new technologies. The governments of both countries have future agreements in place, focusing on the implementation of joint projects in areas such as machine tool manufacturing, microelectronics, and the production of mechanical engineering components.

The isolationist policy adopted by Belarus and Russia, which has been expanding into various sectors, has now impacted the compulsory motor third-party liability insurance system. The membership of the Belarusian Bureau of Transport Insurance (BBTS) and the Russian Union of Motor Insurers (RUA) was suspended as of June 30, 2023, within the international Green Card insurance system due to sanctions. Consequently, an agreement on the Blue Card was reached between BBTS and RSA on June 1, 2023, and it is now in effect.

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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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