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Lukashenka has to choose: reforms or concessions to Russia. OSW Commentary No. 42, 2010-10-27

Klysinski, Kamil and Kononczuk, Wojciech (2010) Lukashenka has to choose: reforms or concessions to Russia. OSW Commentary No. 42, 2010-10-27. [Policy Paper]

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    The most serious crisis in the history of Russian-Belarusian relations has been taking place over the past few months. In 2007 Russia started the process of depriving Belarus of subsidies in the form of supplies of fuels at low prices, which have for more than a decade guaranteed the stability of the Belarusian economic model, and is continuing this process now at an accelerated rate. At the same time, the Russian media started attacks on Alyaksandr Lukashenka from the middle of this year. This toughening up of Russia’s measures indicates that the Kremlin is determined to implement its goals regarding Belarus, including first of all taking over its strategic economic assets, which would result in a significant weakening of Lukashenka’s position. The Belarusian government has been consistently avoiding meeting Russian demands, while at the same time insisting on the reinstatement of preferential conditions of co-operation. If the Belarusian leader continues resisting Russian demands, the crisis in Russian- -Belarusian relations will be aggravated, and a conflict over energy issues around the turn of 2011 cannot be ruled out. The reduction in preferences offered by Russia in the energy sector has significantly impaired the condition of the Belarusian economy, and may lead to its breakdown in a year or two. As his country comes under increasing pressure from Russia, Alyaksandr Lukashenka will soon have to make a strategic choice between yielding to the Kremlin’s demands and embarking upon an at least partial restructuring of the economy.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Belarus
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 14:56
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:56

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