After the War: What ‘The New Russia’ Means for Belarus

By Dzyanis Melyantsou

The war in Georgia has been a surprising and even shocking event for politicians, diplomats, and observers across the world. The issue is not about human suffering the war produced, but that a small local conflict is capable to modify the whole system of international relations and to provoke substantial geopolitical change. The attempt of Georgia to reintegrate South Ossetia and the subsequent aggression of Russia resulted in a drastic change of Russia’s superpower status. International observers mostly considered Russia as an aggressive force, while the USA called for the exclusion from the G8. In turn, Russia has virtually broken its relations with the NATO. Politicians and experts started to talk about the new ‘Cold War’, while the neighbors of Russia revise their defense doctrines. For the first time after the collapse of the USSR, Russia is on the brink of international isolation. What are the implications for international relations and Russia’s direct neighbors?

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