New Eastern Europe


The Far-Reaching Consequences of Belarus’s Conflict with Russia

Even if Minsk and Moscow are able to resolve their current dispute, the standoff will go down in history, at least in Belarus. After Belarus’s declaration of independence and the creation of its state infrastructure—its bureaucracy, currency, and armed forces—this conflict will be one of the most important stages in the country’s movement away from Russia.

Three Dimensions: What Does Trump Victory Mean for Ukraine?

Following Donald Trump’s victory, asked three experts, one in Russia, one in Ukraine, and one in the United States, to comment on the question: “What impact will Trump’s victory have on Ukraine?”

In Moldova’s Vote, the Real Winner is Plahotniuc

The election of the pro-Russian socialist Igor Dodon as Moldova’s new president obscures the fact that the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch won most from the outcome.

How Long Can Belarus’s Balancing Act Last?

Russia and the West are less and less willing to compromise with Belarus. Both know that Belarus is in a weak negotiating position and are demanding more of Minsk than ever before.

Is Russia Supporting a Bosnian South Ossetia?

Moscow indirectly supported the recent Bosnian Serb referendum, not because it has an active new agenda in the Balkans but as a warning shot to the European Union.

Why Did Lukashenko Allow the Opposition Into Parliament?

In light of Minsk’s strict control over the electoral process, the election of two oppositionists to Belarusian parliament suggests that President Alexander Lukashenko is looking to improve relations with the West. How far will he go?

Lukashenko and the Reformers

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his administration have increasingly divergent views about reform. Why hasn’t Lukashenko sacked his freethinking ministers? Is “Europe’s last dictatorship” actually liberalizing?

Mismatched Couple: Belarus and the West

Lukashenko has used a recent audience with the Pope as a way to enhance Belarus’s ties with the West. But the West no longer expects Minsk to be a close ally and to embrace European standards. Instead, it’s expected to be a source of stability. This mismatch in expectations will soon come to a head and the rapprochement will grind to a halt.

The Lukashenko Formula: Belarus’s Crimea Flip-Flops

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has contradicted himself several times on the issue of the status of Crimea. His ambiguities have helped him to maintain good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and to forge a new relationship with the West.

Europe’s Last Dictator Comes in From the Cold

Lukashenko’s fortunes have changed. Once known as “Europe’s last dictator,” he has won friends in Europe, while antagonizing his traditional ally, Russia. It’s a situation that has left the Kremlin in a difficult positon: should it punish Belarus for its pro-Western tendencies? Or should it continue to prop up the Belarusian economy rather than risk further unrest in the region?
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