Is the Time Ripe for the EU to Rethink Its Relations with Belarus?

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Publication Date 24/02/2020
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For much of the last 25 years, the EU has viewed Belarus as an aberrant European state – little more than an appendage of Russia, with a woeful record of political oppression and human rights abuses. As a result, the EU’s engagement with Minsk has been limited. Belarus has remained closely allied with Russia, though occasionally ready to flirt with the West when Moscow’s embrace has become too tight. But Russia’s recent pressure on Belarus to deepen their integration may prompt Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to look for new partnerships as a way of avoiding a ‘merger’. Is this an occasion for the EU to adopt a more ‘geopolitical’ approach to the country?

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