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Belarus and chinese presidents shake hands

Belarus looks to China and the European Union

An Economic Realignment

July 2020, Number 10.03

“Because of its history, Belarus is often viewed as being fully under Russian political influence and is frequently described as in “complete subordination.” Yet, it can be argued that the ties are not unconditional and that protest can be voiced in Belarus. This analysis attempts to test the idea of Belarusian political revolt against the traditional regional hegemon through the prism of recent developments in Belarusian-Russian relations.

Foreign Economic Overdependence Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, patterns of Belarusian foreign trade — both export and import — have been characterized by Russia’s leading role among partnering countries. An analysis of Belarus’ exports (Figure 1) shows that over the last decade, Russia accounted for 30-40% of total exports and exceeded the total share of exports to the European Union, which fluctuated between 25% and 35%. Simultaneously, China’s share of Belarusian exports has remained low, at 1-3%. Thus, Belarus’ exports have been highly dependent on the Russian market and this has been highly determinative for Belarusian economic growth over the period...”

Excerpt from Nataliia Haluhan, “An Economic Realignment,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  10, No. 3, 2020: 30-35.

Nataliia Haluhan is chief specialist at the National Institute for Strategic Studies in Kyiv, Ukraine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from the Kyiv National Economic University and is enrolled in a postgraduate program in international security studies jointly offered by the Marshall Center and the Bundeswehr University in Munich. She is a graduate of the Marshall Center’s programs on Applied Security Studies, Terrorism and Security Studies, and Seminar on Regional Security.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.