New Eastern Europe

24.06.2020

Russia-Serbia Special Relationship Is On Borrowed Time

Moscow’s trump card in the Balkans is its right to veto Kosovo’s accession to the UN. A likely agreement between Serbia and Kosovo will leave Russia superfluous to requirements.
12.06.2020

Belarus Reshuffle Produces “Wartime Cabinet”

The steep economic downturn and pre-election repression in Belarus are not the most favorable backdrop for President Lukashenko’s reelection. It’s not entirely clear what resources—other than force—Lukashenko plans to rely on for his sixth presidential term.
2.06.2020

Does Belarus Election Mark Start of New Era?

Two figures from within the political establishment are set to challenge Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election this summer, laying the ground for a shake-up of politics in Belarus.
25.03.2020

Coronavirus Inflames Russia-Belarus Quarrel

Having closed the border, even for six weeks, Russia has taken yet another psychologically important step in the process of its estrangement from Belarus.
11.02.2020

Oatmeal and Water: The Thinning Belarus-Russia Relationship

A row over energy prices is a sign that Belarus and Russia are set to have a cooler and more pragmatic relationship. Over the next few years, Minsk is likely to build a more balanced relationship with the West and Moscow, like that of Armenia or Kazakhstan.
28.01.2020

Oil Spoils the Russia-Belarus Romance

Belarus’s resolution to become less dependent on Russian oil has nothing to do with its economy. Minsk is making a political statement with the aim of depriving Moscow of one of its main bargaining chips in their relationship.
22.11.2019

Life After the Coalition: What Now for Moldova?

The pro-Russia Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova has managed to accumulate an impressive amount of institutional power. But this concentration of power brings not only advantages, but also greater vulnerabilities, especially when there are plenty of destabilizing factors at work, from uncertain gas supplies to mass voting by residents of the breakaway region Transnistria.
8.11.2019

Double Jeopardy: Why Moscow’s Demands Seem Unreasonable to Minsk

Russia’s suggestion that Belarus resurrect a 1999 agreement to get compensation for Russia’s oil tax maneuver looks fairly cynical to Minsk. After all, by joining the EEU, in which single markets—including for energy commodities—are supposed to be created between 2018 and 2024, Belarus has already paid for all of its tariff preferences.
19.09.2019

Is the Russia-Belarus Merger Anything More Than a Mirage?

There’s no desperation or desire from the Belarusian side right now to obtain concessions from Moscow at any price. The damage to Belarus’s economy from Russia’s “tax maneuver” is serious, but not fatal. The cumulation of these losses will only anger Lukashenko and make him less prepared to compromise.
3.09.2019

Official Visit Symbolizes New U.S. Attitude to Belarus

Both Belarusian officials and U.S. presidential adviser John Bolton were quick to put out the message that the visit was more about form than content. Bolton said openly that no issues had been resolved at the meeting, but that he had not expected otherwise. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that no one was enticing Minsk over to any side, and that the two sides had simply agreed to keep communicating.
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