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  Lithuania may pay for the friendship with Belarus by relations with Russia

2010 11 07

The visit of the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to Minsk during the pre-election campaign in Belarus demonstrated the determination of Lithuania to maintain close relationship with this country. This was stated in the article under the title “Lithuania is consistently strengthening cooperation with Belarus” by Joanna Hyndle, expert of the Centre for Eastern Studies (Poland).

She noted that the key element in the relations between Lithuania and Belarus is economics, in particular, transit of energy suppliers. For getting Minsk interested in the proposals of Vilnius, support in addressing political issues is offered, namely, support in the relations with Brussels. According to the opinion of the expert, such offer is rather convenient for Aleksandr Lukashenko, in particular under the conditions of tense relations with the Kremlin. However, as noted by Joanna Hyndle, given the political gestures of Lithuania will not receive the adequate response in the form of positive and democratic changes in Belarus, it will mean the political fiasco in the relations of Minsk and will have a negative impact on the image of Lithuania in the EU.

Lithuania, supporting Minsk under the conditions of the conflict with Moscow, takes the risk to worsen its own relations with Russia. Russia welcomed the election of Dalia Grybauskaite to the post of the President and has related great expectations with her. However, apart from a few gestures, pointing to the readiness of Russia for cooperation with this country in the participation of Grybauskaite, new impulses in the relations were not fixed, and the announced visit of Grybauskaite to Moscow did not take place. Close relations with Belarus in the period of the aggravated dispute between Minsk and Moscow may lead to the situation in the sphere of Eastern policy, where Belarus will remain the only key partner for Lithuania, and subsequently the position of the latter in the region will become weaker”, writes Joanna Hyndle.

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from «IA REGNUM» of 01 11 2010

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