An Ever Closer Union?
August 2021
An Ever Closer Union?
Ramifications of further integration between Belarus and Russia
Bob Deen, Barbara Roggeveen & Wouter Zweers

Disclaimer: The research for and production of this report has been conducted within the PROGRESS research framework agreement. Responsibility for the contents and for the opinions expressed, rests solely with the authors and does not constitute, nor should be construed as, an endorsement by the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.

About the authors

Bob Deen is coordinator of the Clingendael Russia and Eastern Europe Centre (CREEC) and Senior Research Fellow in the Security Unit of the Clingendael Institute. His research centres on international security issues and multilateral cooperation, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Prior to joining Clingendael he worked as Head of Section and Senior Adviser to the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Barbara Roggeveen is a Research Associate at the Clingendael Institute. Her research focuses on Russian foreign policy in the Eurasian region, EU-Russia relations, and Euro-Atlantic security. Her doctoral research in Russian and East European Studies at Oxford University explores a prominent yet under-researched attempt by Russian foreign policy actors to redefine the spatial contours of Russia’s post-Soviet zone of interest. She has held research positions at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, the University of Amsterdam, and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.

Wouter Zweers is a Research Fellow at the EU and Global Affairs unit of the Clingendael Institute. His research revolves around the external dimension of EU policy-making, focusing specifically on the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans regions. He coordinates Clingendael’s ‘Balkans Hub’, a project in which Clingendael engages with local think tanks from the Western Balkans in joint research and events.

External contributors

Three external experts have contributed to this project with essays on the political, economic and security ramifications that are included in Annex 1-3.

Artyom Shraibman is a political analyst. He focuses on Belarus-related developments, including domestic politics and foreign policy. He is a non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center and the founder of Sense Analytics, a political consultancy.

Dr. Kateryna Bornukova is the Academic Director of the Belarus Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).

Michael Kofman serves as the Director of the Russia Studies Program at the CNA Corporation and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C.

Photo credits

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi, Russia May 28, 2021
© Reuters