Monday, 15 May, 2023 | 16:30 – 18:00 (CET) | Online (in Zoom)
The dependence of the Belarusian regime on Russia’s political, economic, and military support has significantly increased since the 2020 post-electoral protests and the start of the Russian full-scale war in Ukraine in 2022. Belarus has been providing its territory and infrastructure for Russian military attacks against Ukraine, while Belarusian democratic forces and international experts point at the increased danger for Belarus to lose its sovereignty in the upcoming future. Also, the developments in Belarus will play a crucial role for the security and stability in Eastern Europe as a whole. Even though Belarus has almost disappeared from the European and international agenda after February 2022, there is a need for international and Belarusian actors to develop probable short-term future narratives for Belarus.
Between February and April 2023, fifteen experts from institutions operating in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, Finland, and UK, worked on four scenarios for Belarus until the end of 2023. The scenarios are based on two key drivers that are crucial for the Belarusian sovereignty: Russian pressure on Belarus and resilience of Belarus. The purpose of the paper is not to predict the most probable future, but to create a framework for alternative thinking in order to be ready for most unexpected threats and initiate corresponding political thinking and action.
What could initiate a national dialogue in Belarus? Does a military defeat of Russia in Ukraine guarantee a positive scenario for the Belarusian sovereignty? Could readiness of the Belarusian regime to negotiate with the democratic forces split them? Could the legitimacy of Lukashenka in Belarus still increase? How can Belarus entering the war against Ukraine influence the state of the Belarusian sovereignty? What can be recommended to the West and Belarusian democratic forces?
16:30 Welcome & Chair
European Network for Belarus, Austausch e.V., Germany
Vilnius University/Manchester Metropolitan University, Lithuania/UK
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe (KEW), Poland
SENSE Analytics, Belarus
Konrad Adenauer Foundation Belarus, Germany
17:30 Q&A from the audience
18:00 End of discussion
The discussion will be held in English.
Please register via the following link for the event till 14 May (a Zoom-link will be sent on the day of discussion).
The Policy Paper will be soon published online: https://net4belarus.org/public
The discussion is organised within the project "European Network for Belarus” in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The project aims at developing a European Network of NGOs, experts, and political representatives to support the democracy movement in Belarus and is implemented in cooperation with seven partners operating in Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, and Germany. The Network should strengthen the exchange on Belarus-related topics and enhance the visibility of Belarus in the project partner countries as well as on EU level. The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office within the Programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the EaP Countries and Russia” and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
About the project: https://net4belarus.org/