by
September 6 – September 12, 2021
Belarus-West relations

Increased sanctions pressure pushes Minsk to break through foreign policy isolation in relations with the West

The situation has not changed
Increased sanctions pressure pushes Minsk to break through foreign policy isolation in relations with the West

Not having achieved the conversion of a new integration deal with Russia into a resource of significant political and financial support and risking incurring a new package of Western sanctions, the Belarusian regime has begun to prepare the ground to alleviate the foreign policy blockade in relations with Western countries.

The EU has begun to prepare the fifth package of sanctions against the Belarusian regime, and the option of introducing additional restrictions in response to the migration crisis is being considered. The new sanctions target the “wallets of the regime” and loyalist entrepreneurs. They include measures to prevent circumvention of restrictions through the re-registration of property, removing exceptions from the sectoral sanctions that have already been introduced (but have not begun to operate).

The EU has made it clear that it will not succumb to the ongoing migration blackmail by the Belarussian authorities but leaves the window ajar for further political discourse with Minsk. EU demands are that the Belarusian authorities cease repression, ensure a serious, credible and inclusive political process guaranteeing respect for the rule of law and human rights, and culminating in free and fair elections held under the supervision of the OSCE/ODIHR. In response, Alexander Lukashenka publicly rejected the possibility of dialogue with the West while Western sanctions remain.

The ongoing migration crisis has again put the Belarusian issue on the agenda between Russia and the EU. In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the European Council Charles Michel condemned Belarus’ use of illegal migration as a weapon against EU countries and requested that the Kremlin put pressure on Lukashenka. Thus, the Belarusian crisis becomes a bilateral issue between Moscow and Brussels, while Lukashenka loses de jure legitimacy and de facto relevance.

In response to the growing political and economic pressure from Western countries, the Belarusian regime continues to respond asymmetrically, further deteriorating its international position. President Lukashenka has submitted a bill “On the suspension of the Agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union on the readmission of persons staying without permission” to the House of Representatives, aiming to formalise the suspension of Belarusian obligations. However, such a move is unlikely to change the status quo at the border.

State media provoked a crisis in relations with the Vatican by publishing a scandalous caricature of Catholic priests in which crosses transformed into a Nazi swastika. Confirming their traditional focus on constructive cooperation with the Vatican, the authorities were quick to distance themselves. Still, such provocations create new reasons for the imposition of sanctions by the United States in the context of protecting freedom of conscience in Belarus.

Minsk’s attempt to use the liberation of Belarusian Polish minority representatives to ease tension with Poland and the West bogged down in a scandal regarding Yuri Voskresensky’s role as a “mediator” at the economic forum in Karpach. This issue threatened to disrupt negotiations between Minsk and Warsaw that will continue when the foreign ministers of Belarus and Poland meet at the session of the UN General Assembly in New York in the second half of September.

The signals from Minsk regarding concessions and de-escalation to restore relations with the West remain inadequate and are regularly contradicted by harsh rhetoric of opposite content. Thus, the EU, with the support of its Western allies, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, will continue to prosecute the application of sanctions against the Belarusian regime, maintaining a gradually deteriorating trend in relations.

cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china cheap nba jerseys from china wholesale nba jerseys from china discount nba jerseys from china

You have been successfully subscribed

Subscribe to our newsletter

Once a week, in coordination with a group of leading Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries to the most topical and relevant issues, including on behind the scenes processes ongoing in Belarus, in Russian and English.
EN
RU
Subscribe

Situation in Belarus

May 16 – May 22
View all

Subscribe to us

Read more