Belarus Drifting Towards Russia and China

  • Belarus and Russia agreed to the coordinated actions in the international arena.
  • Belarus violated the Olympic Charter within the sports community due to the arrest of the Olympic medallist Andrey Kravchenko.
  • China continues to invest into the joint ventures in Belarus.

Belarus is experiencing challenging times with a negative impact on its populous. Alexander Lukashenko continues to be the President of Belarus despite the falsification of the election results. Russia is one of the few nations that recognized Lukashenko as a legitimate president.

Alexander Lukashenko is a Belarusian politician serving as President of Belarus since the office was created on 20 July 1994. Western opponents of Lukashenko have described Belarus as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’

On November 25th, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, arrived in Minsk for a series of meetings. During the meeting with Lukashenko, Lavrov reiterated the importance of constitutional reforms.

Moreover, Belarus and Russia agreed to the coordinated actions in the international arena. This agreement was reached at a joint meeting of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Board and the Russian Foreign Ministry Board.

One of the key objectives is to lift movement restrictions on the Belarusian-Russian border, taking into account the need for unconditional compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures. Russia is also going to supply Belarus with the Russian-made Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine.

This week, the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a virtual meeting pertaining to the launch of the official sanctions proceedings against the National Team of Belarus. According to the Olympic Committee, Belarus violated the Olympic Charter within the sports community due to the arrest of the Olympic medallist, Andrey Kravchenko.

Furthermore, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya made a statement via Twitter demanding that European Union corporations to stop doing business with the Belarusian state-owned companies and support the protesting factory workers. Additionally, she requested public outing and shaming of Belarusian business leaders.

Sviatlana Heorhiyeuna Tsikhanouskaya is a Belarusian human rights activist and politician who ran for the 2020 Belarusian presidential election as the main opposition candidate.

Tikhanovskaya also stated that she will reconsider Belarus’ agreements with Russia. It should be noted that even though Belarus’ presidential election was not transparent, it does not mean Tikhanovskaya is a leader of Belarus. Nevertheless, the Belarusian  opposition created a new Council. The names of the members will not be disclosed for their protection.

It is plausible that Belarusian and Russian intelligence already know the council members. Belarus’ federal services opened a criminal case in relation to a coup orchestration by the new council members.. It is unlikely that the Kremlin will entertain the idea of acknowledging Tikhanovskaya to have any sort of the negotiations pertaining to the future of Belarus’ governance.

However, Tikhanovskaya’s statements encourage the Belarusian leadership to increase business dealings with China. The joint venture between  Belarus and China, BelGee,  increased its production capacity by 11% in the first half of the year. The enterprise focuses on the vehicle production and recently started manufacturing a new model.

Additionally, BelGee has a new crossover. The vehicle will have hybrid and electric options. The level of localization of Belarusian spare parts exceeded 50 percent. Now the cars have Belarusian batteries, starters, windows, and even seats.

Overall, it is clear the situation in Belarus pushes Lukashenko closer to Russia and China. Lukashenko will retire only when it will be convenient for Russia. However, the turmoil will continue for some time.

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=4]

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

Leave a Reply