№15 (May - June 2020)

Belarus and Russia were focused on their respective internal challenges; certain stabilization of the relationship was visible, albeit with no revision of the terms of Russian crude oil and natural gas supplies.

The pandemic remains the key driver in Belarus’s relations with the European Union. The second important factor is the presidential campaign in Belarus, which started to have a markedly negative impact on the Belarus–EU relationship as early as its initial phase.

The areas of engagement with China expanded compared with the previous period; humanitarian cooperation remained highly relevant.

Trade and economic relations with the U.S. are also on the rise. For the first time, a tanker of U.S. crude oil was delivered for processing in Belarus. This foreign policy area is also beginning to be influenced by the presidential campaign, though.

The regional security situation has deteriorated. The Belarusian state was a lot less concerned about military security, whereas in terms of national security, a new trend emerged towards linking the elections to national security. This leads to the growing importance of security agencies in Belarusian politics. Against the backdrop of the country’s complicated relationship with the Kremlin, Minsk was working to maintain diversification of international military ties.