Live streamed discussion “DOES BELARUS EXIST TODAY?”

Belarus we used to know for the past three decades has dramatically changed over the past three years. The Lukashenka regime has been continuously sanctioned by the Western countries and organizations for both domestic and foreign policy reasons. Violent crackdown on opposition, especially since 2020 and siding with Russia on its war against Ukraine, has made Belarus even more a pariah in the international community. Moreover, Lukashenka continues trading off more of Belarus's sovereignty to Moscow by welcoming the Russian military, the Wagner group and Russian nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, the people of Belarus at home and in exile are left wondering – if Belarus they knew still exists and what will it be tomorrow?

After an eventful first working year, the Belarus Research Network for Neighborhood Policy is organizing its final event in Copenhagen, Denmark on 28 September 2023 from 4PM-7PM. Six scholars in the field of social sciences and humanities will share their views on the current security situation in the Baltic Sea Region and its implications for Nordic-Baltics states. The discussion will draw on publications of the Belarus Research Network on Neighborhood Policy, discussing the past, present and future relations of Belarus with its European neighbours.

You can read the publications of the Network for free on the website

The discussion will be streamed online on the Facebook page of the event.

Program of the event:

  • 16.00-16.15 Conference opening and keynote by Charlotte Flindt Pedersen, Director of Danish Foreign Policy Society
  • 16.15-16.30 Keynote speech by Karlis Bukovskis, Director of Latvian Institute for International Affairs
  • 16.30-16.45 Dr. Victor Shadurski, Institute of International Studies of the University of Wroclaw, researcher of the Gerda Henkel Foundation: Baltic and Nordic studies in Belarus. Past, present and future.
  • 16.45-17.00 Dr. Pavel Tereshkovich, coordinator of Belarusian Association of Education and Science (BAES): Belarus. Language, identity, the state, and a farewell to illusions
  • 17.00-17.15 Dr. Siarhei Mazol, coordinator of the project “Corporate Governance in Belarus”: Belarus against the post-Soviet empire and dictatorship: Was there a better scenario for us after 2020?
  • 17.15-17.30 Elizabete Vizgunova-Vikmane, PhD candidate, Latvian Institute for International Affairs: The Wagner rebellion that wasn’t. A view from Riga on Lukashenka’s PR victory
  • 17.30-17:45 Dr. Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Tandem-Postdoc "Digital History", Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung -Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft: Will the World Save Us? The Cultural Roots of Political Opposition in Belarus
  • 17:45-18:00 Dr. Roza Turarbekova, independent political expert: Can China replace the EU as a "second pillar" of Belarusian foreign policy after 2020?

The Belarus Research Network on Neighbourhood Policy’s objective is to gather and produce knowledge to inform the discussion and debate on how to best approach Belarus on its pathway to democracy and freedom.  The Belarus Research Network on Neighbourhood Policy aims to:

  • Produce a facts-based debate on Belarus on relevant topics for the development and understanding of Belarus
  • Inform local and regional policy makers on key policy issues of importance to Belarus
  • Inform the wider audience on the developments in Belarus and ensure that Belarus remains a topic on the regional agenda.

The project is supported by a consortium of three partners from Latvia (Latvian Institute of International Affairs), Denmark (Danish Foreign Policy Society) and Lithuania (Centre for Belarus and Regional Studies at the European Humanities University).

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

For further information on the event, please, reach out to the coordinator of the Network in Latvia 

Published 20 September 2023