What policy changes do the EU and its member states need to envisage if the EU is to act more geopolitically and increase its influence in the Eastern neighbourhood?
The EU’s success is mixed in generating reform among Eastern Partnership countries. But patience and self-confidence remain its best bet for the future.
The EU’s tendency to shy away from security issues has helped make covert operations and military threats Russia’s tools of choice in the region
The EU should make use of its significant leverage in Georgia and Moldova to counter their ruling parties’ extensive repertoire of electoral dirty tricks
Russia’s goal in its neighbourhood is to regain influence, not to be surrounded by neutral, self-sufficient buffer states
However uncertain the road ahead, these protests show how authoritarianism ultimately subverts itself
While many Western observers have seized on Ukraine's 2004-5 and 2014 revolutions to understand the mass protests in Belarus, a much better analogy is Armenia's democratic transition in 2018.
The Kremlin knows that intervening militarily would lose it the goodwill of the Belarusian people. But it does not rule out a managed transition to a candidate of its choice.