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March 21 – March 27, 2022
Belarus-West relations

The West calls on Belarus to stop enabling Russian aggression against Ukraine and threatens joint complicity

The situation has not changed

Even though Belarusian armed forces are not directly engaged in Russian military aggression against Ukraine, Russian troops’ use of Belarusian territory will have consequences. Western countries call on Belarusian authorities to avoid further escalation, and China continues to curtail cooperation with Belarus. Despite the efforts of the Belarusian regime, international isolation is worsening.

The rhetoric of the leaders of Western countries regarding Belarusian participation in Russian military aggression against Ukraine is hardening. The statement of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) calls on the Belarusian authorities to avoid further escalation and refrain from using their Armed Forces against Ukraine. Meanwhile, the leaders of the G7 intend to make every effort to hold President Putin, and the organisers and supporters of this aggression, including the Lukashenka regime, accountable for their actions.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Belarus was complicit in the invasion of Ukraine from the very beginning and continues to provide Russia territory and airspace to attack Ukraine. The final statement of the NATO summit of March 24th calls on Belarus to cease complicity per the Resolution on Aggression against Ukraine, adopted by the UN General Assembly on March 2nd, 2022.

These statements are accompanied by concrete steps aimed at isolating Belarus from the world economic system. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has suspended Belarus’ application for WTO membership.

The UK has introduced an additional 35% duty on Belarusian imports affecting wood, paper and cardboard packaging, ferrous metals and products made from them, aluminium and lead products, components for electric motors and generators, rapeseed cake, and unreinforced glass.

The number of supporters of a transport blockade of Belarus is increasing. Ukraine suggests that EU countries completely block transport links with Russia and Belarus. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda also spoke in favour of further isolation of Russia and Belarus following a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rute. Although no decision has yet been made, logistical problems are already evident. As of March 25th, there was a backlog of more than 5250 trucks waiting at the Belarusian border. At least 743 are destined for Latvia, 2130 to Lithuania, and 2352 to Poland.

The attempts of the Belarusian regime to evade this blockade with Chinese assistance have fallen on deaf ears in Beijing. However, Prime Minister of Belarus Mikalai Snapkoŭ and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Uładzimir Makei discussed the prospects for trade and investment cooperation with the Chinese Ambassador to Belarus, Xie Xiaoyong.

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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.
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