Unrest in Belarus and Russia’s Response
Protests across Belarus continue unabated in response to the country’s August 9 presidential election. Will Russia be part of the problem or part of the solution in Belarus? John Herbst, director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council and a former US ambassador to Ukraine, posits that Russia is likely to be a big part of the problem. In a recent article in The National Interest, he warned that Moscow is poised to intervene militarily in Belarus and this intervention could pose significant problems for Belarus and European security.
Andranik Migranyan, a prominent Russian foreign policy expert and government adviser, disagrees. In a contrasting article in The National Interest, he argues that Moscow is likely to play a decisive role in ending the crisis without resort to force or regime change.
Are developments in Belarus likely to spiral into violence, or are they on a path toward stability? And what US and European policies are most likely to contribute to a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved?
To discuss these issues, the Center for the National Interest and Atlantic Council co-sponsored an online debate Thursday, September 24. Joining Ambassador Herbst and Dr. Migranyan in the discussion was Dr. Keith Darden, an expert on Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus at American University, and Franak Viačorka, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and vice president, Digital Communications Network.
Jacob Heilbrunn, the editor of The National Interest, moderated the event, while Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, provided welcoming remarks.