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«Belarus as an independent state has the right to work with whoever it wants»

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As part of the #ExpertEnvironment project, political scientist Dmitry Bolkunets commented on the Eastern Partnership:

 - Belarus, if it wants, can take out Chinese or European loans and invest in infrastructure. This does not cause any indignation or mistrust in Moscow. To some extent, it is even beneficial for Moscow if Belarus finds other sources of credit. Russia should not contain Belarus or any other countries.

 - There is no contradiction that Belarus will cooperate with Western or Chinese banks. Now such an opportunity has been closed because of sanctions, because of Lukashenko's policies, and over time it may fall on the Russian budget. At the same time, many experts highly appreciate the financial preferences that Belarus received thanks to energy subsidies from Russia. It seems to me that they were used inappropriately.

 - Earlier in my publications I suggested that Russia switch from subsidies to a credit mechanism. The loan must be issued for a specific project. The new government will need to switch to project financing in order to modernize the energy system, road infrastructure and other areas, as well as to reduce dependence on external partners, both eastern and western.

Expert Environment is a series of discussions with the participation of the expert community to discuss the geopolitical choice of Belarus.

The full content of the first discussion is in our report material.

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