Belarus Geopolitics

Belarus Geopolitics

Having acquired full independence in 1991 following the dissolution of the USSR, Belarus has embarked on a difficult process of transition, both internally and internationally. Located at the extremes of Eastern Europe, Belarus continues to have historically a peculiar link with Russia both from the point of view of economic and energy interests, as well as from the political and strategic ones. Since 1994, Belarus has been led by President Aleksandr Lukashenko, which has centralized increasing prerogatives in the presidency, to the detriment of the judiciary and legislative power. The parliament is bicameral and composed of the House of Representatives, with 110 directly elected members, and the Council of the Republic, with 64 members, of which eight are appointed by the president and the remaining 56 are appointed on a regional basis. There are no opposition representatives in the National Assembly.

According to itypeusa, the privileged relationship with Moscow and authoritarianism with which the country was headed in the post-independence phase were the main reasons for friction with Western countries, in particular with U know. The lack of democratization and the severe restrictions on civil and political liberties have also generated considerable friction with the European Union (Eu) and a growing international isolation which, on the other hand, has led Belarus to strengthen its ties with Russia. During and immediately after the crisis that saw Russia and Ukraine as protagonists, Belarus seemed to be more critical of Moscow: Lukashenko openly contested Putin’s choice to annex Crimea and, above all, the Belarusian government refused to follow Moscow in the mass. the ban on Ukrainian products, marking a partial departure from Russian positions. At the same time, however, from a military and economic point of view, Minsk remains closely linked to Russia: just think of the loans granted by Moscow to Belarus, such as the one worth 2 billion dollars at the end of 2013. Furthermore, Belarus, with the signing of the Treaty of Astana,Eeu), which in 2015 was supposed to lead to a free trade zone between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, to which were added Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. In 2009 the country joined, together with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, also the Eastern Partnership, an agreement between the EU and the six neighboring countries of Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus. Nonetheless, the stalemate in the democratization process appears insurmountable. In October 2012, the European Council decided to extend the sanctions approved against the country for violations of human rights for a further year. The extension of the terms of the sanctions – translated into restrictive measures in the granting of visas and the freezing of the assets of persons and companies linked to the regime – is equivalent to a freezing of bilateral relations. In an attempt to alleviate economic and political isolation, the country has in recent years forged privileged relations with countries such as Iran and Venezuela, characterized like Belarus by tense relations with the West.

The marshes of Polessia constitute the regions of the RB (or Belarus) not yet valued, so all the efforts in these decades have been directed towards the drying up of the vast peaty area. More than 3 million hectares have been gained from crops. A considerable effort was made in the postwar period to rebuild power plants, factories, towns and villages. Many construction industries had to be created. The drainage works resumed, the extraction of peat intensified, to the advantage of the new thermal power stations. Among other things, we also remember a large tractor factory, another car factory, and many machine tool factories. These new industries employed a lot of skilled labor; steel was imported from the south.

Among other industries in first place we find: textiles (wool, hemp, silk) in Vitebsk; shoe factories, paper mills, wood industries (plywood), building materials; mechanics (agricultural machinery, scales, radios, televisions, etc.). A certain development has marked the clothing industries.

The new Dnepr-Bug channel then joined the Dnestr with the Niemen (Baltic Sea-Black Sea) favoring the resumption of inland navigation. Crops and livestock have also recovered, along with industries. Particular development has been noted in the crops of flax (Vitebsk, Molode─Źno and Mogilev regions), potatoes (occupying 18% of the arable area), hemp, wheat, rice and sugar beets. Livestock farming has also made progress. The exploitation of the very large forest resources has also had a notable recovery.

Belarus Geopolitics