08 Feb 2008

The EU’s Limited Response to Belarus’ Pseudo ‘New Foreign Policy’

George Dura

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Following the energy crisis between Belarus and Russia in December 2006-January 2007, Belarus gave the impression that it wished to move closer to the EU. One year later, however, Belarus appears to have mended its fences with Russia and toned down its pro-EU rhetoric. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to analyse whether the dynamics of EU-Belarus relations have changed at all in the intervening year and if so, whether the EU has succeeded in increasing its leverage on Belarus. In its conclusions, the paper puts forward a series of short-term and longer-term measures that the EU might consider taking, provided that Belarus commits to addressing the most basic requirements in the field of human rights and democratisation.