RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 40ISSUE 1members only

Is Russia Changing Gear on Belarus? Unpacking the Importance of the Union State for Russia

Main Image Credit Courtesy of

High-level presidential meetings, increasing rhetoric from the Kremlin and the growing use of Russia’s soft power levers all indicate that Moscow is adapting its approach to Belarus amid a changing political climate.

Over the past year, a succession of prominent meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, has brought discussions about Belarus’s political future to the fore. Economic pressures in Russia and serious political tensions between Russia and the West have prompted Moscow to rethink its foreign policy approach to traditional allies such as Belarus. This has meant a slight shift in their diplomatic relationship, from

lockmembers only content

Continue reading by joining RUSI

View membership options

Join the World’s Leading Defence and Security Community

  • A busy programme of members' only events
  • Access to a suite of RUSI publications
  • Access to experts, networks and research teams

Already have an account?


Emily Ferris

Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia

International Security Studies

View profile

Explore our related content