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The Growing Importance of Belarus on NATO’s Eastern Flank

Glen E. Howard and Matthew Czekaj, editors
The Growing Importance of Belarus on NATO’s Eastern Flank
ISBN: 978-1-7352752-1-5
2021/433 pages
Distributed for The Jamestown Foundation


The widely misunderstood country of Belarus, squeezed both literally and geopolitically between Russia and the West, was typically overlooked by post–Cold War military planners—until Russia's first invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Now, with Russia's latest offensive in Ukraine, Belarus's geostrategic importance to NATO and the surrounding region is more in the spotlight than ever.

Focusing on the growing importance of Belarus in the context of the NATO alliance, the contributors to this timely collection capture the geopolitical complexities that define the country today and explore critical strategic issues.


Glen E. Howard is former president of The Jamestown Foundation. Matthew Czekaj is on the staff of the Middle East Institute.


  • The Growing Importance of Belarus on NATO's Baltic Flank—G.E. Howard.
  • De Facto Non-Alignment: Modeling an Option for Belarus—V. Socor.
  • Split Identity and a Tug-of-War for Belarus's Memory—G. Ioffe.
  • Should the West Be Wary of an Imminent "Union" of Russia and Belarus?—A. Wilson.
  • Belarus's Role in East European Energy Geopolitics—R. Mammadov.
  • Belarus's Contribution to Security and Stability in Central and Eastern Europe: Regional Safeguards, Strategic Autonomy, and National Defense Modernization—A. Sivitsky.
  • Belarus and the EU: Where Could Another Rapprochement Lead?—Y. Preiherman.
  • Belarus's Relations with the Baltic States: Strategic Economic Links and Pragmatic Foreign Policy Calculations—D. Melyantsou.
  • The Geopolitical Link Between the Baltic and Black Seas: Belarus and the Strategic E40 Waterway—A.S. Murphy.
  • Belarus as a Pivot of Poland's Grand Strategy—J. Bartosiak.
  • The Belarus Factor in Kaliningrad's Security Lifeline to Russia—S. Sukhankin.
  • The Changing Religious Landscape of Belarus and Its Impact on Belarusian Nationalism—G. Ioffe.
  • Four Scenarios for Belarus in 2025–2030—A. Shraibman.