The Practical Price of Minsk’s Multi-Vectorness

Multi-vectorness, or as it is now common to correctly name cunning ass-ness, in recent years has been actively used by our partner in the Union State as a moral justification for the most bizarre pretzels of foreign policy.

Why does Minsk not recognise Crimea as Russian? Because it fears resentment from Kiev, which allegedly is an important foreign trade partner, allegedly significantly balancing Belarus’ dependence on Russia. Why does Minsk not support Russia concerning other important issues? For exactly the same reason.

In particular, because of the hope of somehow improving political relations if not with the whole collective West, then at least with the European Union. However, as practice shows, it’s very illusory.

For all the promising policy statements, the EU’s practical steps remain the same. In February 2019, Brussels extended the 2004 arms embargo and financial restrictions against four Belarusian citizens allegedly involved in the disappearance of two opposition politicians, a businessman, and a journalist in 1999 and 2000. On February 28th of this year Brussels extended these sanctions for another year, until February 2021.

And the multi-vectorness is at the same time to do with the fact that the EU’s anti-Belarusian sanctions have just been officially supported by Ukraine, which clearly demonstrated the real value of any of its statements of friendship.

It would seem that in October last year Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Zelensky almost kissed at the II Forum of Regions of the two countries, underlining the strength and mutual benefits of their friendship. Then the President of Belarus repeatedly called his Ukrainian colleague Volodya, stressing a particularly deep degree of rapprochement and trust.

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But when it came to comparison (friendship with whom is more important to Kiev?) Zelensky immediately preferred business instead of friendship. However, for multi-vectorness this situation is typical. Each of its participants primarily seeks to out-gallop partners exclusively for their own benefit. It is extremely naive to hope to build reliable long-term and mutually beneficial relations with them, and and it’s even more naive to believe that it is possible to “counterbalance Russia” with them.

The friend of “Volodya” just confirmed it clearly.


Russky Demiurg

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