This report is part of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) 2020. It covers
the period from February 1, 2017 to January 31, 2019. The BTI assesses the transformation
toward democracy and a market economy as well as the quality of governance in 137 countries.
Since 2015 Kremlin consistently has reconsidered the terms and conditions of the strategic deal, cutting the level of integration subsidies and requiring deeper political, military, and economic integration from Belarus.
As of May 1, 2020, and in contrast to other investigated countries in this report (China, Russia, Hungary, Iran), Belarus hasn’t experienced either a peak of the COVID-19 epidemic or even approached it. Although Belarusian authorities have managed to contain the spread of the epidemic at the first stage without introduction of a nation-wide quarantine effort, the worst consequences are yet to come since the peak of the epidemic is expected in the beginning of June.
After Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka rejected the Kremlin’s so-called integration ultimatum at the end of 2019, and following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announced constitutional changes, the following January, to effectively reset his presidential term tally to zero, some experts argued that a forced unification scenario between Belarus and Russia within the Union State had become significantly less likely.
The comment of Director of Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies Arseny Sivitsky appeared in the March 2020 issue of Petroleum Review.
In response to Russia's efforts, Minsk seeks to reassert and enhance its commitments to regional and international security, while preserving and expanding Belarus’s strategic autonomy within the alliance with Russia.
In the mid-1990s, Minsk signed several treaties and agreements with Moscow that prioritized a pro-Russian geopolitical orientation...
Parliamentary elections are finally scheduled in Belarus.
Following predictions by Russian military intelligence (GRU) that the West wants to separate Belarus from Russia and incorporate it into the Western orbit...
The Russian-Ukrainian conflict of 2014 and the subsequent militarypolitical confrontation between Russia and the West marked the transition of Russia to a new strategic doctrine...
Belarus adopted a new Information Security Concept (ISC) on March 18, 2019, based on a resolution from the Belarus Security Council (President.gov.by, March 18)
Belarus wants to expand constructive dialogue with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the basis of trust, equality, transparency and mutual respect.
Belarus’s ongoing drive to cautiously normalize relations with the West has raised concerns from Russian military intelligence...
Arseny Sivitsky, Director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, participated in the “Big Conversation with the President” of Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko — meeting with representatives of general public, expert community, Belarusian and foreign mass media.
The Kremlin’s concerns about maintaining Belarus within its geopolitical sphere of influence have been mounting as of late
Belarus further tightens control over its domestic political field. Without Russia’s support, the outlook for its economy is gloomy. Meanwhile, the standoff with Moscow switches from open to positional.
Four sacks of potatoes and a piece of lard were the Christmas gifts president Lukashenko brought for his meeting with Putin on December 29.
In December, the tensions of the past years in relations between Russia and Belarus entered a new stage growing into an open conflict. The Kremlin openly declared its ambitions of integrating Belarus. It conditioned discounts for oil and gas on deeper integration between Russia and Belarus within the Union State.
Despite recent concerns from some security analysts that a new Military Doctrine of the Union State of Russia and Belarus will include provisions for the establishment of a Russian military base on Belarusian soil...
Parliamentary and presidential election campaigns are about to start in Belarus, so the authorities continue to “tighten the screws” in the domestic political field and bank on new appointments to the key positions.
The entire country is gradually focusing on the upcoming presidential election. The entire government and bureaucracy, the 2019 budget, and even international relations are all being used to polish up Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s image.
Arseny Sivitsky, Director of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, took part as an independent observer from Belarus in the 8th Beijing Xiangshan Forum on international security
Within the given period the relations between Belarus and Russia have become a source of mostly negative news.
Visitors to Minsk National Airport, the main air-hub in Belarus, might be surprised to hear public announcements in Chinese echoing through the arrivals hall.
The prime minister, three vice-premiers, three ministers and the chairman of the State Military-Industrial Committee of the Republic of Belarus resigned as a result of Alexander Lukashenko’s trip to the eastern regions of the country
The trade wars with Russia and the Moscow’s desire to limit the use of the European raw materials which are “under sanctions” can cost Belarus not only profits but also the trust of the Western partners.
Russian actions toward Belarus since 2015 show that Moscow is no longer pursuing the “union deal” it had established with Minsk earlier and instead has placed its bets on the forced integration of its western neighbor into a Russian-dominated state, according to Arseny Sivitsky
Since the collapse of the USSR, Belarus has not been transformed into a market economy with well-developed and strong democratic institutions and civil society, in contrast to most of the eastern and central European states, including the Baltics
Belarus authorities began preparations for the presidential and parliamentary elections and tried to ease the protest mood with the financial methods. In foreign policy, the trend of balancing between Russian, European, and Chinese directions is still preserved.