February 20 – February 26, 2023
Security issues

Minsk will try to exploit Chinese peace initiatives

The situation has not changed
Minsk will try to exploit Chinese peace initiatives
China's President Xi Jinping and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko (L) attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Minsk will try to exploit Chinese peace initiatives, aiming to be seen as a (junior) co-organiser of the peace process and acquire security guarantees as a client (in international politics) of Beijing.

The People’s Republic of China has published a 12-point peace plan to end the Russian-Ukrainian war. However, the proposals are vague and unlikely to result in practical progress. Chinese initiatives were generally met with scepticism in Kyiv and in the West, but it is unlikely that they will be rejected outright. Kyiv and the West are interested in dissuading China from providing practical assistance to Moscow, which is less likely while Beijing is engaged in peace-making. Consequently, some activity around the Chinese initiative will follow.

In general, the PRC proposals align with those of Minsk. The Belarusian regime will try to capitalise on this to reset Belarusian-Chinese relations and participate in peacekeeping activities as a junior partner of Beijing. Lukashenka has an enduring interest in involving the PRC in Eastern Europe as a stabilising third (relative to Russia and the West) force.

While it is unlikely that Chinese peace-making efforts will succeed, Beijing’s presence in the region could have a deterrent effect on Moscow, but it will not contain either the West or Kyiv. Minsk will try to enter the game as a peacemaker and political partner of the PRC, buttressing its position of refusing to be directly involved in hostilities and hoping to obtain support and security from Beijing in the likely event that its proposals fail.



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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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