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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems
Belarus flag etc

The tumultuous events of the last year in Belarus have spilled over into the Baltic. 

EU and UK sanctions against Belarus have followed the fraudulent August 2020 Presidential elections, followed by the escalation of serious human rights violations, the violent repression of civil society and democratic opposition, and the forced landing of a Vilnius-bound Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 and the related detention of Belarus journalists. 

Belarus has responded to increased international isolation by seeking to promote instability in the Baltic. Lithuanian officials claim that the Belarus government is facilitating people-trafficking and this year border guards have detained over 2,400 people crossing into Lithuania from Belarus, most of them from the Middle East and Africa. The conflict is escalating as the government is erecting a fence on the 679 km border with Belarus, troops have been deployed there, anti-migrant protests have taken place and the issue has been raised with NATO and the EU. On 18 August EU interior ministers decided to provide additional Frontex experts to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia where similar issues arise. 

The historical perspective on these events, the motivations and intentions of all parties and the implications of possible future scenarios will be discussed. 


Kamil Klysinski, Specialist in Belarusian Affairs, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) in Warsaw

Vygaudas Ušackas, Former Foreign Minister of Lithuania 2008-10  


Pavel Slunkin, Visiting Fellow European Council on Foreign Relations, working on Belarus-related issues  

Katia Glod, Analyst and Political Risk Consultant, specialising in Belarus, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union 

Chair: Rt Hon Charles Clarke 

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Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 - 17:00 to 18:00
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