Jamestown Exchanges Views with Belarusian Government Leaders


Contact: Matthew Czekaj

Last week The Jamestown Foundation led a small group of analysts on a three-day visit to Minsk, Belarus. Headed by Jamestown President Glen E. Howard, the group included Jamestown analysts Vladimir Socor and Grigory Ioffe, as well as Janusz Bugajski, a long-standing Washington expert on Eastern Europe. The Jamestown Foundation initiated this fact-finding trip to learn more about the current state of US-Belarus, EU-Belarus, and Belarus-Russia relations.
As one of the Western world’s leading research and analysis organizations on Eastern Europe and Eurasia, The Jamestown Foundation frequently conducts fact-finding visits to the countries we cover. Our analysts regularly write about Belarus in Jamestown’s flagship publication, Eurasia Daily Monitor, which is circulated to policymakers and analysts around the world. During our Minsk visit, Jamestown met with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey, and other senior officials. The group presented a compendium of analyses on Belarus by Jamestown analysts, which may be accessed here. During the visit, Jamestown also met with diplomats of the European Union- and NATO-member countries stationed in Minsk, as well as members of the Polish community in Lida.
The Jamestown delegation received a comprehensive briefing from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry, and Railway authorities, concerning the role of Belarus in the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), which supplies American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The route runs from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, via Belarus, and onward to Afghanistan. In the past year the volume of goods and supplies that transit via the Belarus route of NDN has doubled. Belarus is set to play a growing role in the reverse transit when the U.S. and NATO forces exit from Afghanistan in 2014. It should be noted that Belarus has undertaken such cooperation with the United States and NATO at a time when it is under Western sanctions.
Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, Eurasia and the world of terrorism. Jamestown produces three periodic publications: Eurasia Daily Monitor, Terrorism Monitor and China Brief. Jamestown research and analysis is available to the public free of charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.