The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will likely become less functional and coherent as the group gets bigger. Form will start to drive function, and the group will begin to search for a purpose.
To the EU’s detriment, its policy toward its Eastern neighbors is neither creating an arc of stability nor encouraging democracy.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
If the EU wants a reliable partner in Belarus, the country must be transformed into a more democratic state. Only the Belarusian people can achieve this transformation.
Recently re-elected Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is making maneuvers to get closer to the West and distance himself from Russia. But Moscow is not worried: it knows that his fundamental values differentiate him from Western countries.
The award of the world's most prestigious literary prize to Svetlana Alexievich is a seal of approval for her genre of polyphonic non-fiction and her insights into the catastrophes of the Soviet era.
Reforming Belarus requires a long-term strategy, taking into account the emerging civil society and changes in the opposition.
Despite its release of political prisoners, don’t expect Belarus to cuddle up to the EU.
Belarus is attempting to normalize its relations with the West. The EU could help—but first, it must understand the country and its regime better.
The EU needs to realize that its neighborhood policy is a political not a technical tool, operating in a politicized environment where major conflicts take place.