When Belarus embarked on the construction of its first nuclear power plant in Astravyets in 2012, the official objective was to significantly reduce the share played by imported Russian gas in the country’s electricity production.
The Russian narrative on Belarus changed in 2014, when Russian expert circles and the government elite essentially redefined
In 2009, Vladimir Putin, the then Russian prime minister, gave impetus to the establishment of closer relations within what was then a still narrow group of three countries: Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Close co-operation is expected to guarantee for Russia that the strong politico-economic influences in this area will be maintained.
In late 2006 and early 2007, relations between Russia and Belarus were hit by the most serious crisis in many years. In a setting of heightened tension, the Belarusian authorities decided to gradually modify their economic policy and thoroughly restructure the ruling class. The new situation created new, much more difficult challenges for the Belarusian opposition.
Belarus holds a special position in Russian policy due to its geopolitical, military and transit significance. Russia's influence and position in the entire Eastern European region largely depend on how strong Russian influence in Belarus is. The process of Russian-Belarusian integration began in 1994, when Alyaksandr Lukashenka came to power in Minsk.
The European Union's new border with Eastern European countries, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, is approximately 3000 km long. It has vital meaning for the Union in terms of security as well as for social and economic reasons. Unlike the southern maritime border of the EU, the eastern land border poses a number of different challenges
Belarus has not broken off its bonds with Moscow after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Throughout the whole period of the Belarussian independence we can observe the country·s strong political, economic and military dependence on Russia. This dependence allows Russia to control, and even shape, the processes that take place in Belarus in all the areas mentioned.