№099 No other choice but co-operation. The background of Lithuania’s and Latvia’s relations with Belarus Cover Image

№099 No other choice but co-operation. The background of Lithuania’s and Latvia’s relations with Belarus
№099 No other choice but co-operation. The background of Lithuania’s and Latvia’s relations with Belarus

Author(s): Kamil Kłysiński
Subject(s): Economic policy, International relations/trade, Developing nations, Geopolitics
Published by: Ośrodek Studiów Wschodnich im. Marka Karpia
Keywords: Lithuania; Latvia; Belarus
Summary/Abstract: For years now Belarus has been a key economic partner for Lithuania and Latvia. These two Baltic states have well-developed port infrastructure and thus provide what are the geographically closest and also the cheapest exit to international outlets for Belarusia’s petrochemical and chemical industries, both of which are export-oriented.As a result, the transit of Belarusian goods is one of the major sources of income for the state budgets of the two countries. This economic interdependence has affected the stance Riga and Vilnius take on Minsk at the EU forum. When in February and March 2012 the Council of the European Union was resolving the issue of imposing economic sanction on selected Belarusian companies which backed Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, this triggered a discussion on what the point of such measures is and on possible economic losses in Lithuania and Latvia. As a result of firm resistance from Latvia (which was backed by Slovenia), the Council removed those companies which were most strongly engaged in co-operation with Latvian partners from the list of those to be covered with economic sanctions. Lithuania, which is more critical of the political situation in Belarus, did not express its official opposition to the sanctions. Despite some differences in the policies adopted by Riga and Vilnius, it turned out that Minsk could count on strong support from local business groups in both of these countries, as these groups fear impediments in this highly profitable co-operation and also retaliation from the Belarusian government.

  • Page Count: 7
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Language: English