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External and Internal Policies of Belarus After Crimea Annexation

Abstract

Within the last few years, significant changes have taken place in the geopolitical and economic spheres of Europe: Euromaidan, annexation of the Crimea in the East, and problems inside the European Union (issue of migrants, Brexit) in the West. These changes had their impact on Belarus, a country situated between Russia and the EU. Conflict between Ukraine and Russia shook the Belarusian economy. Belarusian authorities were afraid about unexpected Russian steps towards Minsk and about social unrest against their own authoritarian president. All of this forced Alexander Lukashenko to search for new solutions in his policies. During recent months, it was possible to observe the change of a political discourse with Poland, attempts of a cautious cooperation with Russia (which is still Belarus’ main ally), and a search for new sources of finances and energy suppliers. The present situation is a new challenge for Belarusian authorities and even for foreign observers. For inhabitants of the country, the situation is not comfortable.

This article aims to present, based on selected sources, the synthesis of actions that were taken in the external and internal politics by the Belarusian authorities after the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

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