Belarus in 2024: Navigating Trajectories of War and Repression

This event will discuss Belarus’ role in Russia’s war against Ukraine and the repressions and threats faced by the democratic opposition in Belarus and in exile. It will also explore possible actions by Western countries in this context.

, Berlin time (CEST, UTC+2)
Venue: Lithuanian Embassy in Paris, 22 Boulevard de Courcelles, 75017 Paris
Event banner Belarus in 2024

Belarus’ support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its sheltering of armed Wagner militants, and the alleged presence of Russian nuclear weapons have attracted much attention from the West. These activities, and Belarus’ connection to Russia more broadly, necessitate a deeper analysis and an assessment of the threat that the country poses to Ukraine and the EU. However, in addition to matters connected to Russia, there is also a crucial need for increased focus on the evolving situation concerning repressions. In conditions of war and repression, the possibilities for assisting Belarusians within the country are increasingly limited, and even Belarusians living in exile face pressure from Minsk and security restrictions from local governments.

This event aims to relaunch the conversation around Belarus, bringing together experts to explore current developments in Belarus and the role Western countries play in this context. We will discuss Belarus’ role in Russia’s war against Ukraine and its relations with Russia on the one hand and the repression and threats faced by the democratic opposition in Belarus and in exile on the other.

This event is co-organised by ECFR and the Lithuanian Embassy in Paris. It is part of the debates cycle of the Prelude of the Season of Lithuania in France, organised by the Embassy of Lithuania in France. The Season of Lithuania will take place from 12 September to 12 December 2024.


Keynote: Video message from Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Leader of Democratic Belarus

9:30 – 10:00 Registration and welcome coffee

10:00 – 11:15 Session 1: Belarus’ role in the Ukraine war

  • Ambassador Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU
  • Alena Kudzko, Vice President for Policy and Programming, GLOBSEC
  • Laure Mandeville, Grand Reporter, Le Figaro

Chair: Pavel Slunkin, Visiting Fellow, Wider Europe Programme, ECFR

11:15 – 12:30 Session 2: Democratic opposition in Belarus and in exile

  • Tatsiana Chulitskaya, Fellow researcher, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Vytis Jurkonis, Head, Freedom House Office in Vilnius; Associate Professor of
    Partnerships, Vilnius University
  • Brice Roquefeuil, Director, Continental Europe, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dzianis Kuchynski, Diplomatic Advisor to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Chair: Marie Dumoulin, Director, Wider Europe Programme, ECFR

12:30 – 13:00 Musical performance by Artiom Shishkov

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch