Development of the European Union Belarus Relations

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-9-69-75

F. Basov (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. This article is devoted to the formation and development of the European Union policy toward Belarus. In recent years, the importance of the EU for Belarus has gradually but steadily increased. The author shows how these bilateral relations acquire an increasing importance for both sides over time and turn into an independent foreign policy. Brussels is ready to consider the Belarusian leadership as a partner with whom it is possible to agree on the evolution of the relationship. At the same time, the factor of competition with Russia for the direction of Belarus’ development makes the European Union less and less aimed at regime change in Minsk. If the EU were to pursue a policy of striving for regime change in Belarus, it would certainly have lost the competition for this country to Russia, which, of course, is not wanted in Brussels. In the 1990s, A. Lukashenko wanted a real unification of Belarus with Russia, but at present, he is not interested in it, since this would mean the loss of real power for him. Thus, the president of Belarus, who was ready to renounce the sovereignty of his country in the 1990s, is now the guarantor and the main defender of its independence. Correcting the foreign policy and foreign economic imbalances in the development of Belarus becomes a common goal of Brussels and Minsk. The article demonstrates the diversification of the EU foreign policy where the EU countries bordering Belarus as well as Germany – the driving force of European integration – show particular interest in intensifying their policies toward Minsk. Until the middle of the current decade, relations between the European Union and Belarus had been developing cyclically. But, most likely, they are taking a linear development path now. At the same time, the EU does not want to annoy Russia. That is why the evolution of the relationship in the Belarus – Russia – European Union triangle will most likely occur without serious escalation. The attraction of Russia for Minsk is decreasing. In recent years, the Belarusian leadership has finally become disillusioned with the prospects and potential of the Eurasian integration project. 

Keywords: Belarus, EU, Russia, Eastern Partnership, post-Soviet space, Union State, EAEU 


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For citation:
Basov F. Development of the European Union Belarus Relations. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 9, pp. 69-75.

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