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Challengers of Western Hegemony? Belarus and its International Allies

Hausarbeit 2015 14 Seiten

Politik - Internationale Politik - Region: Russland, Länder der ehemal. Sowjetunion

Leseprobe

Inhalt

I. Insights in the foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus
1. Close allies of Belarus
a. Syrian Arab Republic
b. Republic of Cuba
c. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
d. The Peoples Republic of China
e. Republic of India
2. Loose allies of Belarus
a. Islamic Republic of Iran
b. Republic of Turkey
c. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
d. Federal Republic of Nigeria
e. Republic of South Africa
3. Countries relationship in development
a. Arab Republic of Egypt
b. Federative Republic of Brazil
c. Republic of Sudan

II. Is Belarus threatening western hegemony?
1. Argument in favor of this theses
2. Arguments against this theses
3. Concluding remarks

III. Bibliography

I. Insights in the foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus

This paper gives an overview about the relations of the Republic of Belarus in respect of those countries which are situated in Latin America, Africa, the Arab World and Asia. For that reason, there are three different categories in which the “level of relation” is being declared. These categories shall help to identify which countries are close allies, loose allies and which relationships are not settled yet.

The purpose of examining the Belarusian foreign relations is to figure out if the country’s foreign policy is aiming at challenging western hegemony. According to the sources, the main principle of the Republic of Belarus’ foreign policy in respect to developing countries is best described as being “pragmatic”, even if Belarus does not abstain from rhetoric confrontation. Due to President Lukashenko, Belarus has “no geopolitical ambitions“ and abstains from “making political games and intrigues”, whereas trade and investments shall become key elements of Belarus’ foreign policy.1 This means, that Belarus is interested in any kind of cooperation which is at its own interest, independently of any ideology. Now, to clarify the real intention of Belarus foreign policies, the relations with different countries will be examined.

1. Close allies of Belarus

The first category is for those countries that are considered to be close allies of Belarus. The explanation for this classification will be given in each country’s passage.

a. Syrian Arab Republic

Republic of Belarus has close ties to Syria through the tight attachment of both states to the former Soviet Union. Because Belarus tried to find new partners after having lost Iraq in the Iraq-War of 2003, the relationship with Damascus became more intensive. Since then, the ties were quite stable until 2010, when Belarus tried to avoid official contact because of the Syrian crisis.2 Since then, the contact continued at a minimum level.3 The cooperation with Syria is hindered due to the crisis and due to U.S. sanctions which are opposed on Belarus.4 Another interpretation of the ceasing contacts is that Belarus will sacrifice Syria for having a deeper cooperation with Turkey and the West. It is important to know that Turkey is one of the key enemies of Syria and that is has comparatively good relations to the western world, therefore Turkey good be the door opener for Belarus to western countries.5 In 2014 however, Belarus indicated to restore the good relations with Syria as soon as the current situation improves.6 Recent consultations were held to expand “mutual support in international organizations” and to deepen economic ties.7 Moreover, Syria wants to join the costume union between Belarus, Russia, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Belarus also supports -rather late- Syria in its fight against terrorism and calls for more international endeavors. Cooperation in the scientific and cultural fields shall be intensified as well.8 As a conclusion, the recent development show, that both countries are keen on restoring their relations and due to the international collaboration, Syria is a close ally of Belarus.

b. Republic of Cuba

Cuba very soon became a partner of Belarus, thanks to already existing ties of the Soviet area. An important point of this partnership is the mutual support on the international level.9 In summer 2014, both countries declared that they want to expand economic cooperation especially in the field of bilateral trade of pharmaceuticals and furthermore condemned “the unilateral restrictive measure […] impose[d] on Belarus and Cuba”, which may relate to US sanctions.10 It is important to mention that trade with Cuba is very fluctuating and that Belarus had doubts about cooperating with such a poor country. Nevertheless, Cuba helped Belarus to establish new relations in Latin America, e.g. Venezuela, which pays of more regarding the economic cooperation.11 Having this in mind, Cuba is an important foothold in Latin America which makes the country a close ally to the Republic of Belarus, partly because of both countries close international collaboration.

c. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Thanks to the mediation of Cuba, close contact between these two countries emerged during the mid-2000s. Sceptics about this new partnership said that both countries only share their similar view towards the US. However, cooperation is conducted “in the fields of science, technology, innovation, energy, oil industry and agriculture”.12 Joint cooperation efforts in trade and military are quite impressive which is why a big part of Belarus’ trade turnover in Latin America can be attributed to Venezuela. Nevertheless, their political cooperation is far ahead of their economic collaboration. One important economic aspect for Belarus is the oil supply of Venezuela.13 Recent developments show, that collaboration is declining due to the difficult situation in Venezuela.14 In 2014, both countries reiterated that they “closely cooperate in the UNO”, which includes the establishment of multilateral world order.15 Furthermore, Venezuela serves as a platform for Belarus to get more contacts in Latin America.16 Adding their strong political and international collaboration and their decent economic cooperation, Venezuela is considered is close ally to Belarus.

d. The Peoples Republic of China

Since relations with China started in 2006, Belarus considers Beijing to be very important because mutual trade “has been showing impressive results”.17 However, comparing this with the Belarusian neighbors, this increase is nothing extraordinary. Therefore, Belarus overestimated their relations to China, partly because of their common view on the world order, which includes democracy and human rights. Out of Minks’ view, the cooperation with China is quite positive, even if China estimates the partnership differently. Belarus often supports China on the international stage.18 In the first months of 2014 until August, Belarus was becoming more skeptical of its partnership with China.19 As the Chinese side noticed this, it moved to improve the bilateral relations with Belarus.20 Therefore, a mutual interest in an ongoing cooperation can be seen. Together with the cooperation in international organizations China is considered a close ally of Minsk.

e. Republic of India

Diplomatic relations were established quite early after Belarus’ independence. Both countries share “views on almost all international and regional issues” and Belarus mutual support on the international level is being conducted.21 In 2012, India was on 3rd place of Belarus’ most important export countries and on 4th place in terms of the most important import countries, which makes India a valuable trading partner for Belarus.22 In 2013, India was in the group of countries which was considered to be the top priorities of Belarus’ foreign policy.23 In 2014, both sides intended to expand economic cooperation, trade and cooperation to intensify investments, agriculture mechanization and industrial cooperation.24 As India is an important trading partner and both countries are collaboration on the international stage and want to intensify overall relations, the country is considered to be a close ally of Belarus.

2. Loose allies of Belarus

The second category is for those countries that are considered to be loose allies of Belarus. The explanation for this classification will be given in each country’s passage.

a. Islamic Republic of Iran

The collaboration with Iran is considered to be a key element of Belarus’ foreign relations policy. However, even if the (political) cooperation between the two countries was very promising, it never paid of in terms of economic collaboration, which is partly due to sanctions of the United States.25 Possible economic cooperation, e.g. oil trade and high-tech products, would end the Belarusian dependency on Russian oil.26 Partly due to the current sanctioning, Belarus maintains only minimum contacts with Iran.27 Overall, the long-term (political) cooperation of both countries is one of the main reasons why the Iran is to be considered a loose ally of Belarus. Even if it is likely that Belarus wants to restore its relation to Tehran, “these relations are secondary to Mink’s engagement with the West”, which is why Iran is considered to be a loose ally.28

b. Republic of Turkey

The relationship between with Turkey got more intensive in the early 2010s and especially since 2013.29 Turkey is one of the few countries which imports diversified goods from Belarus, which makes the country a valuable partner. In addition to that, the states have active political contacts with each other.30 Moreover, “Minsk regards that country as an important market [and] a source of investment”.31 Both countries want to expand their cooperation on military and defense issues.32 In 2013, Turkey belonged to the group of developing countries which were ascribed the highest priority in Belarus’ foreign relations.33 As it can be read in the passage over Syria, Turkey might become even more valuable as a door opener to the West. Moreover, both countries are collaboration “in [the] peaceful use of nuclear energy”.34 As a consequence, Turkey is a very good partner of Belarus, making the country almost a close ally, which is prevented by an unclear international cooperation situation.

c. United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Apart from Syria, the UAE is Belarus’ most important ally in the region. Contact started to get more intense in the middle of the 2000s, especially –but not exclusively- in the military field. One of Belarus’ hopes is to “draw investments from [this] rich countr[y] and boost cooperation in the military sector.”35 Furthermore, Minsk wants to use UAE as a springboard “for building up contacts with the rest of the Persian Gulf economies”.36 The partnership with the UAE is interesting as the country is considered to be an ally of the West. Recent developments show, that both countries are cooperating more closely in the field of criminal investigation and that new cooperation is being planned, e.g. in the fields of industry, education, agriculture, military, aviation and technical cooperation as well as in law-enforcement-sector.37 The decent cooperation of both countries makes the UAE one of the most important loose allies of Belarus. If the mutual cooperation remains stable enough, it is possible that the UAE will be a close ally quite soon.

d. Federal Republic of Nigeria

Mentionable cooperation started just recently and especially since 2013. Trade is an important priority of Belarus in its relationship with Nigeria, even if the turnout was quite fluctuating in the last years. 38 Recent developments show, that both countries want to extend their economic cooperation in a better economic and trade collaboration and in the protection of mutual investments. Moreover, Belarus wants to support Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and for this reason both countries are collaborating in law enforcement and in the military and security sector.39 Therefore, Nigeria belongs to “the most promising new [partner] for cooperation.”40 Considering the little time since both countries are collaborating, many different areas have been included. Out of that perspective, Nigeria is seen as a loose ally of Belarus.

e. Republic of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa was and still is one of the key priorities of Belarus on the African continent. The economic and political relations are stable, but total trade over is not very high. Most trade is being done with tires, fertilizers and trucks. In the last years, efforts were made to deepen the cooperation, e.g. in the area of defense technology, as traditional partners of Belarus are not accessible at the moment.41 Therefore in 2013, the Belarusian government expanded its efforts for a better cooperation with South Africa.42 In 2014, South Africa was interested in assembling tractors and machinery from Belarus. Also politically, both states “focused on the need […] to seek a fairer world order”, which implies collaboration on the international stage and the establishment of a multipolar world order.43 In conclusion, South Africa is accounted to be a loose ally of Belarus, lacking closer ties and deeper, broadened cooperation.

[...]


1 Siarhey Bohdan, Belarus´s relations with the Arab World in 1992-2012. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2013): 10

2 Bohdan, Belarus´s relations with the Arab World, 10, 14, 15

3 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 11

4 Bohdan, Belarus´s relations with the Arab World, 16

5 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Foreign Policy Accent NO. 16, 1-2

6 “Meeting with heads of Belarusian diplomatic missions and consular institutions”, Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus, accessed January 3, 2015, http://president.gov.by/en/news_en/view/meeting-with-heads-of-belarusian-diplomatic-missions-and-consular-institutions-9270/

7 “Belarus’ delegation pays visit to Damascus”, Belarusian News, accessed January 9, 2015, http://eng.belta.by/all_news/politics/Belarus-delegation-pays-visit-to-Damascus_i_77116.html

8 “Syria Seeks to Join Customs Union Between Russia”, Belarus, Kazakhstan, The Syrian Observer, accessed January 9, 2015, http://syrianobserver.com/Economy/Economy/Syria+Seeks+to+Join+Customs+Union+Between+Russia+Belorussia+Kazakhstan

9 Siarhey Bohdan, A case study on the relations between Belarus and Latin American countries in the years 2002-2012. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2013): 2, 9

10 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 20, 13-14

11 Bohdan, Belarus and Latin America, 1, 10-11

12 Bohdan, Belarus and Latin America, 15

13 Bohdan, Belarus and Latin America, 1, 9, 19, 21-22

14 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 18

15 “Belarus, Venezuela to work out roadmap for long-term cooperation”, Belarusian News, accessed January 9, 2015, http://eng.belta.by/all_news/economics/Belarus-Venezuela-to-work-out-roadmap-for-long-term-cooperation_i_74257.html

16 Bohdan, Belarus and Latin America, 1, 7, 17-18

17 Andrei Yeliseyeu, Some aspects of belarusian-chinese relations in the regional dimension: Much sound and little sense. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2013): 1

18 Yeliseyeu, belarusian-chinese relations, 1, 13, 19

19 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 21, 9

20 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 9

21 “India-Belarus Relations”, Ministry of External Affairs, accessed January 7, 2015, http://www.mea.gov.in/Portal/ForeignRelation/Belarus_Unclassified_Bilateral_Brief_-.pdf

22 Andrei Yeliseyeu, Analysis of Belarus’s trade with developing countries. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2013): 5, 8

23 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 17, 13

24 “Diplomats of Belarus, India discuss ways to intensify business cooperation”, Belarusian News, accessed January 10, 2015, http://eng.belta.by/all_news/politics/Diplomats-of-Belarus-India-discuss-ways-to-intensify-business-cooperation_i_77608.html

25 Siarhei Bohdan, A case study on the Belarus-Iran relations in 1993-2012. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2012): 1, 8

26 Bohdan, Belarus-Iran relations, 18, 22

27 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 17

28 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 21, 16

29 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 20, 12

30 Yeliseyeu, Analysis of Belarus’s trade with developing countries, 10

31 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 20, 14

32 “Belarus and Turkey confirmed mutual interest in development of military cooperation”, Ministry of Defence, accessed January 9, 2015, http://www.mil.by/en/news/37008/

33 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 17, 13

34 “Belarus, Turkey to cooperate in peaceful use of nuclear energy”, Belarusian News, accessed January 9, 2015, http://atom.belta.by/en/news_en/view/belarus-turkey-to-cooperate-in-peaceful-use-of-nuclear-energy-3338/

35 Bohdan, Belarus´s relations with the Arab World, 2, 4, 13, 19, 20, 25

36 Bohdan, Belarus´s relations with the Arab World, 20

37 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 12, 13-14

38 Siarhey Bohdan, A case study on the relations between Belarus and African countries in the years 2002-2013. Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (2014): 2, 12

39 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 14-15

40 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 21, 16

41 Bohdan, Belarus and Africa, 1, 2, 11, 21

42 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 17, 13

43 Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, Belarus’ Foreign Policy Index NO. 22, 15

Details

Seiten
14
Jahr
2015
ISBN (eBook)
9783656950066
ISBN (Buch)
9783656950073
Dateigröße
627 KB
Sprache
Deutsch
Katalognummer
v298664
Institution / Hochschule
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Note
1,0
Schlagworte
Politics International Hegemony Belarus

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Titel: Challengers of Western Hegemony? Belarus and its International Allies