Belarus’s political future still hangs in the balance. Aliaksandr Lukashenka declared himself the winner of the August 2020 election but the majority of Belarusians still understand this to be untrue and have voiced their discontent through persistent protests despite unprecedented levels of repressive action by the regime.
The crisis has expounded and amplified numerous problems within Belarusian political and economic systems. No matter how and in what way the domestic situation evolves and whether a national consensus is reached or the confrontation between various political forces continues, Belarus still finds itself potentially on the verge of profound political and economic transformations. This will determine the course of the country’s development in the years and decades to come.
The lack of effective involvement by the EU, US and partners risks exacerbating – or at least consolidating – the status quo situation. What is now becoming a protracted crisis will lead to further repression of the Belarusian democratic movement and increased levels of Russian interference, including disinformation and pressures on security and democratic processes.