Playing the enemies: Belarus finds in between EU and Russian sanctions regimes

Publication date:
Ryhor Nizhnikau, Senior Researcher in the EU’s Neighbourhood and Russia Programme, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Finland

This paper analyses the effects on Belarus of European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia, on the one hand, and Russian sanctions on Ukrainian and EU goods, on the other. International sanctions opened up new political and economic opportunities that the Belarusian authorities sought to capitalise on. But Minsk's attempts to swim between two waters (retaining the benefits Moscow offered while improving relations with the EU) have backfired and distrust towards Minsk has grown in Moscow, Brussels and Kiev. A theoretical approach is made to the foreign policy of small states, before this paper shows how Belarus has been harmed by its attempts to take advantage of EU and Russian sanctions regimes.

Key words: sanctions, trust, evasion of sanctions, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, European Union


How to cite this article:  Nizhnikau, Ryhor. “Playing the enemies: Belarus finds in between EU and Russian sanctions regimes”. Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, issue 125 (September 2020), pp. 113-37.