Bolton’s trip has not any grounds for Moscow to worry about

US National Security Advisor John Bolton traveled to Chisinau and Minsk that can be regarded as the growing US influence on the Russian border. It was the first trip of a US official to Minsk for the past 20 years and was described as a “turning point” at the Russian border that could “ruffle feathers in Moscow.” Someone supposed that Minsk wanted to try their powers to “build warmer relations with the West.”

Moscow, meanwhile, does not worried about the latest events and doubts that Bolton’s visit can arise tight cooperation between Minsk and Washington. 

The U.S. can hardly be noticed within the frameworks of the Belarusian foreign policy for a long time. Washington with its Western allies “froze” contacts with the Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko to force him to take a pro-Western position in vain, Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine, said.

Then, such a strategy failed, Republicans made their mind to restore the relations between two parties, he explained.

Oleg Nemensky, a senior fellow at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, thinks that “the US seeks to restore its role in the regional geopolitical game.”

However, Lukashenko is eager to go on “pragmatic working relations with the US” but doubts that it could turn into something. “Belarus is too closely tied to Russia” – both economically and politically – he explained.

The Belarusian President is aware that the West does not want to see him as a president. Moreover, he could never trust them according to ostracism and the conflict in Ukraine in 2014.

“The situation in Ukraine does not bode well for Belarus’ pivot to the West,” Nemensky said.

“The Western politicians still cannot avoid a fairly typical mistake they make by believing that any step towards democracy is, in fact, a step away from Russia,” Nemensky stated. In his words, Bolton is “confident that Minsk’s pro-Russian course is antidemocratic and cannot be supported by people.”

Thus, Bolton’s trip has not any grounds for Moscow to worry about.

Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website