Lukashenko's weakened position after the presidential elections of August 9 seemed an opportunity for Russia. At last Putin could force him to accept total integration in the Union State he has been dreaming of. But now the Belarusian president seems unable to crush the protests and the West has turned him down Belarus is becoming a problem for the Kremlin as well. It can lose the sympathy of the last Slavic brothers left after the Ukraine crisis.by Artyom Shraibman
Putin's first public reaction to the crisis in Belarus ultimately proves that countries in Russia's so called 'sphere of influence' are not allowed to have an internal political agenda of their own. If protests in Belarus lead to more independence from Russia and inclination to the West they will be stopped.by Alexander Baunov
Four sacks of potatoes and a piece of lard were the Christmas gifts president Lukashenko brought for his meeting with Putin on December 29. But tensions about sovereignty of Belarus have risen again. It's an old power play between Minsk and Moscow. Arseny Sivitsky analyses the concerns from the point of view of Belarus.