№16 (July - August 2020)
One way or another, the political crisis in Belarus has affected all of the foreign policy focus areas. For the first time in the history of our monitoring, the level of regional tension has reached the orange zone.
The relationship with Russia changed abruptly: the aggravation recorded in July was replaced by emphatically pro-Russia stance in August. Russia has become Belarus’s dominant foreign policy partner for a long time.
The presidential campaign disrupted the years-long normalization process with the European Union. Minsk’s relationships with Poland and the Baltic States have become particularly tense.
A significant slack was reported in bilateral cooperation between Belarus and China. At the same time, official Minsk emphasized the significant role of China for the external world.
Minsk’s relations with the United States were also profoundly affected. Washington spoke about the possible return of sanctions, while the Belarusian leadership explicitly blamed the U.S. for preparing a coup.
Political engagement with Ukraine intensified in July and early August, and economic contacts markedly revived. However, the political crisis in Belarus resulted in a collapse of political contacts. So far, it has not had a direct impact on the economy.
The security agencies and the army started playing an unprecedented role in political processes, and the overall national security status can be referred to as a crisis situation. The regional security situation along the perimeter of Belarus’s borders has seriously deteriorated.