Belarus: Master of the Art of Fence-Sitting

For six weeks now, Belarus has been gripped by protesters decrying the recent renewal of President Alexander Lukashenko’s leadership mandate in an election broadly viewed as illegitimate. Amid popular unrest, Lukashenko has publicly requested assistance from Russian President Vladimir Putin, inflaming fears of a Russian military intervention. For virtually his entire tenure, Lukashenko has been a master fence-sitter, carefully balancing his rhetoric and actions to maintain goodwill both with Russia, a neighboring power and historic benefactor, and with NATO states, who have courted Minsk with offers of political and economic independence. Should Putin intervene to preserve the political status […]


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