President Sandu’s key imperative will be to foster a functional majority in parliament that produces a reformist government. But the current parliamentary configuration is not conducive to a major reforms push.
In the event of a managed transition of power in the next year or so, it’s military men who will supervise that transition and help to select a successor—who looks increasingly likely to be one of them.
To anyone who has followed U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy for the past four years—and especially the last two years—of the Trump administration, the answer will be unambiguously “yes.”
Nearly two months after Belarus’s contested presidential election, Alexander Lukashenko continues to cling to power. This episode of the Carnegie Moscow Center English-language podcast examines how the situation there may unfold.
From an overripe apple that looked sure to drop into Moscow’s lap all on its own, the Belarusian regime is increasingly coming to resemble a toxic asset that’s as difficult to engage with as it is to get rid of.
Courted by Alexander Lukashenko since the 2000s, China has gradually expanded its presence, economic and otherwise, in Belarus. However, its strengthening position there has not come at Russia’s expense, and, as unrest spreads following last month’s presidential election, there is little reason to expect China to step in to rescue the embattled president.
Massive and persistent, protests in the usually quiet country of Belarus have taken the world by surprise and suddenly brought the country to the centre of Europe's attention.
Lukashenko faced the classic autocrat’s dilemma: avoid a revolution by making compromises and introducing elements of real democracy, or—regardless of the growing price of hanging on to power—fall back on costly repression with costly consequences.
Friends of Belarus need to recognize that a revolution is not the end, but merely the beginning of what is certain to be a long and difficult road toward making it a “normal country.”
The Kremlin has had enough of Lukashenko, but it cannot allow Belarus to follow the path of Ukraine and become another anti-Russian, NATO-leaning bulwark on its borders.