The EU, the UK and the US should come out in support of fundamental freedoms and human rights in Belarus. Doing so would mean not only staying true to their own values, but could help avoid European security being compromised by another protracted conflict on the EU’s frontier.
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In the first episode of the East-West Coffee Shop podcast, European Leadership Network (ELN) Policy Fellow Ben Challis sits down with Yauheni Preiherman and Katia Glod to discuss the developing situation in Belarus following the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been described as the last dictator in Europe.
As Belarus heads into its most turbulent elections in decades on 9th August, Ben Challis warns that there is an urgent need to avoid a dangerous competition for influence there between Russia and the West.
Deteriorating relations between Russia and NATO and the increasing capacity for rapid deployment and concentration of forces increases instability and the risk of military escalation, namely in the Baltic region. Against this background, the countries concerned could be interested in a conventional arms control regime that helps to prevent destabilising build-ups of forces and to enhance maritime security.
Lukasz Kulesa examines the challenges faced in security environment of the Baltic Sea region and presents the opportunities for effective arms control.