Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Agnia Grigas writes for The Hill on President Alexander Lukashenko’s reelection as President of Belarus and what it means for the future of the country:

It comes as no surprise that President Alexander Lukashenko, or the “last dictator in Europe” as he is popularly known, has won the Belarusian reelections with a reported 83 percent of the vote on Sunday. Ruling the country since 1994, Lukashenko has spent the last two decades squashing his opposition, such as arresting political dissidents and jailing other presidential candidates in the 2010 election. Lukashenko’s next five-year term is likely to bring more of the same the same for the country: closer economic and political integration with Russia and more flirtation with the European Union.

The only surprising factor about Lukashenko’s win is that the election garnered less criticism from European countries and, despite some objections, was deemed an improvement over previous years. Opposition candidates were allowed to campaign and some political prisoners were released. As a result, the EU has temporarily suspended sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime, giving Minsk a little bit more room for maneuver in its relationship with Russia and possibly more room for deepening its relationship with Europe.

Read the full article here.

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