Minsk is trying to extract everything from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The parties’ trade reminds the old story of Lukashenka’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And again, the Belarusian president’s stategy comes down to maneuvering between the West and the East.
Lukashenka hoped Russia would lift its duties on oil products exports but in vain. That is why the Belarusian leader described their recent meeting as ‘going round in circles’.
But Minsk did manage to gain some benefits: Russia sanctioned increases in meat and dairy products supplies ibn 2014. Moreover, the talks about Uralkali’s restoration of its export alliance with Belarusian company Belaruskali started, which had been out of the question before.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s relations with the EU are apparently warming up. After a meeting with his Latvian counterpart Belarusian FM Uladzimir Makey said that Belarus had sent a lot of specific improving proposals concerning the EaP summit in Riga. According to some European politicians, in a number of issues Belarus is better than other EaP participants, Mr Makey stated.
The fact that no concessions were made in the Ukrainian issue may prove that the Russia’s economy is in crisis. The conflict in Crimea caused the Russian ruble’s falling and stock market meltdown; furthermore, Russia will have to give a helping hand to Crimea if the autonimy joins it.