ECFR-Anglo Belarusian Society joint event: ‘What makes Belarus so difficult?’
Edward Lucas, International Editor of The Economist and Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis
Jana Kobzova, Policy fellow and programme coordinator at ECFR
Yarik Kryvoi, Editor-in-Chief of Belarus Digest and Secretary of the Anglo-Belarusian Society
While the ongoing human rights violations draw widespread international attention, the reasons which make the Belarusian political system so different from other Eastern European governments are a widely overlooked topic. The strong international reaction to symptoms of Belarus’ problems is often not accompanied by looking into the underlying reasons for these problems. The discussion will offer an evaluation of the roots of the current political situation in Belarus and discuss solutions on how to better deal with the situation. It will shed light on the discourse of "carrots and sticks" in the EU policy, the reasons why Russia continuously supports the political status quo in Belarus as well as the possibilities for reaching out to the wider Belarusian society whilst bypassing the regime in Minsk.
Edward Lucas is International Editor of The Economist. He has been covering Central and Eastern Europe for more than 20 years, witnessing the final years of the last Cold War, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet empire. His highly regarded publications include The New Cold War and Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West.
Jana Kobzova is a policy fellow and programme-coordinator at ECFR. She covers the EU’s relations with its eastern neighbours including Russia. Before joining ECFR, Jana headed the Belarus democratisation programme at the Bratislava-based Pontis Foundation between 2006 and 2009. At ECFR, among other publications, she co-authored Dealing with a post-BRIC Russia and The EU and Belarus: After the Election.
This event is by invitation only
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