Belarus Foreign Policy Index N29 (November–December 2015)

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We are happy to present the twenty-ninth issue of Belarus Foreign Policy Index, in which we explore Belarus’s foreign policy in the five key dimensions in the months of November and December 2015.

In its relationship with Russia Belarus managed to not only remain uninvolved in Russia’s foreign spats, but also consolidate its neutral position. The meeting between Presidents Putin and Lukashenka did not reveal any visible conflicts, contrary to negative forecasts.

The relations with the European Union continued developing within the normalization trend. The potential for full-scale improvement looks increasingly realistic in both Belarus and the EU.

The substance of the Belarus–China relationship was contingent upon the trends established in 2015: economically — a mutual trade pattern that is more beneficial to Belarus, and politically — further deepening of collaboration in security and intensification of the multilateral dimension.

In its relations with the Developing World, Minsk was focusing on South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East. Contacts with African states were marginal, despite the visit to Zimbabwe of head of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate. Minsk keeps making efforts to maintain and develop its relations with Vietnam, one of the country’s oldest partners that is just as important for Belarus’s foreign policy as some of the former Soviet Union states.

Minsk’s relationship with Ukraine was somewhat tarnished by problems in mutual trade; however, they were resolved quite soon. Both countries kept emphasizing the strategic importance and stability of their friendly relations.

Read the full text of the twenty-ninth issue of Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index in PDF