№17 (September-October 2020)
Russia continues to support the incumbent Belarusian authorities. Nevertheless, mutual discontent between Minsk and Moscow is growing increasingly bitter. Russia is interested in seeing the situation in Belarus stabilize, but not at any cost.
Tensions in relationships between Minsk and the European Union continue to aggravate. Almost all positive trends in the bilateral framework, which had been observed throughout the previous five years, were disrupted. Negative mutual rhetoric was supplemented by targeted individual sanctions imposed by both sides and threats to impose harsher measures.
China’s political support for Belarus is ongoing as well. In the wake of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the intensity of contacts at various levels was restored.
The relationship with the U.S. continued to deteriorate, which was manifested mainly in the escalation of mutual rhetoric. The American sanctions, however, proved to be more of a symbolic nature, whereas official Minsk demonstrated its willingness to maintain ties.
Mutual negative rhetoric snowballed in Belarus’s relationship with Ukraine; the negative background was also maintained in the media. At the same time, constructive economic engagement was preserved.
In national security, the incumbent authorities were heading towards building parallel and informal security structures inside the country. The situation in Belarus became an important regional security factor, which impacted inter alia NATO military activities. However, the situation became less acute as early as October.