The Jamestown Foundation’s Special Project, “The Growing Importance of Belarus on NATO’s Eastern Flank,” examines the growing strategic importance of Belarus to the West, analyzes the Belarusian-Russian bilateral relationship, as well as evaluates the level of Belarusian national identity and state sovereignty and their implications for the transatlantic alliance. This project will publish a series of papers and a final report drawing on insights from workshops and webinars on key Belarusian topics, involving top subject-matter experts from Europe, the United States and Belarus.

Latest Articles

The Belarus Factor in Kaliningrad’s Security Lifeline to Russia

Executive Summary Three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, security ties between the Republic of Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast exclave remain linked in important ways, even as economic, transit and energy infrastructure connections have withered away over time. But since the disputed... MORE

Belarus as a Pivot of Poland’s Grand Strategy

Executive Summary For 500 years, Poland’s grand strategy successfully rested on building various points of leverage with the leaderships and societies in the East—in the so-called Intermarium, between the Baltic and Black seas—in order to prevent these areas from falling under Russian imperial domination and,... MORE

Belarus’s Relations With the Baltic States: Strategic Economic Links and Pragmatic Foreign Policy Calculations

Executive Summary Historically, Belarus has always had close relations with the three Baltic States—Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia—and cumulatively spent centuries together with them in several larger shared state entities. The strategic importance of the Baltic States for Belarus stems from their geographic location—for the land-locked... MORE

Belarus’s Contribution to Security and Stability in Central and Eastern Europe: Regional Safeguards, Strategic Autonomy and National Defense Modernization

Executive Summary Belarus has been widely commended for hosting a neutral platform for diplomatic negotiations over the Russian-Ukrainian war; but its major contribution to regional security and stability is related to the so-called security guarantees Minsk formulated toward all neighboring states immediately in the wake... MORE

Belarus’s Role in East European Energy Geopolitics

Executive Summary The role Belarus plays in energy geopolitics is one of the most unusual in the world. While not a petroleum supplier, it sells refined oil products to many countries. And while not a natural gas producer, it delivers the fuel to numerous countries... MORE

Belarus and the EU: Where Could Another Rapprochement Lead?

Executive Summary For about two decades, Belarus–European Union political relations remained highly conflictual. Communication between Minsk and Brussels stayed at a low level and rarely extended beyond issues of human rights and democracy, even though Belarus’s trade with EU member states had not been disrupted.... MORE

Four Scenarios for Belarus in 2025–2030

Executive Summary At least three trends will define the future of Belarus until 2025. The role of the state in the economy will continue to decrease. Belarusian foreign policy will continue to become more sovereign. And, unless he drops his widely announced plans, President Alyaksandr... MORE

Split Identity and a Tug-of-War for Belarus’s Memory

Executive Summary World War II continues to be at the center of Belarusians’ collective memory. However, Belarus is a country with two historical narratives that have been at odds with each other since the inception of the Belarusian national movement. While the neo-Soviet/Russo-centric narrative has... MORE

The Growing Importance of Belarus on NATO’s Baltic Flank

No country better stands to transform the strategic military balance in the Baltic Sea Region than Belarus. Wedged between Russia and America’s NATO allies in northeastern Europe, Belarus until recently has not been considered in discussions about the North Atlantic Alliance’s Baltic flank. A variety... MORE