Assessments

Why Russia Won't Rush to Lukashenko's Aid in Belarus

Sim Tack
Senior Global Analyst , Stratfor
Aug 17, 2020 | 22:25 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (left) take part in a ceremony in Rzhev, Russia, on June 30, 2020.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (left) take part in a ceremony in Rzhev, Russia, on June 30, 2020.
(MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia will be reluctant to insert itself in the unfolding political crisis in Belarus without certainty over the survivability of President Alexander Lukashenko's regime. But Moscow has critical geostrategic interests in maintaining influence over Minsk, which it will act to fiercely defend should a decidedly pro-Western government begin taking shape amid the chaos. Following an Aug. 16 phone call with Russian President Vladamir Putin, Lukashenko has attempted to flaunt Moscow's alleged support for his regime, citing Putin's affirmed commitment to the two countries' defense treaties as proof. In reality, however, the Kremlin has been extremely measured in its response to the opposition protests that have erupted across Belarus following the country's contested Aug. 9 presidential election. Moscow has limited its public interactions with Lukashenko's government to only essential diplomatic exchanges. Several Russian officials and journalists have even criticized the Belarusian authorities' behavior during the elections and subsequent crackdown on the...

For Serious People Who Seek Intelligence Over News

Subscribe and Save 50% Today!

12-Month Introductory Offer.

  • High quality, unbiased analysis of global events
  • Quarterly, annual, and decade geopolitical forecasts
  • Customized notifications, newsletters, and much more

Preview Some FREE Worldview Articles Below:

Free Coronavirus Articles

Free Geopolitical Articles

Article Search

Copyright © Stratfor Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

Stratfor Worldview

OUR COMMITMENT

To empower members to confidently understand and navigate a continuously changing and complex global environment.