Updated at 10:12,17-09-2019

Expert on Bolton's visit to Minsk: U.S. can't offer anything to Belarus

Euroradio

Expert on Bolton's visit to Minsk: U.S. can't offer anything to Belarus
Arseniy Sivitsky / Raman Pratasevich, Euroradio
The United States is interested in Belarus retaining its independence and therefore is ready to lift sanctions. John Bolton, President Trump's advisor on national security, is going to Minsk to receive information about "deepening integration" proposed by Russia. This was stated by Euroradio on August 28th by political scientist, head of the Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies, Arseniy Sivitsky.

"In order to lift the sanctions, the president has to present a report on the improvement of situation with democracy and human rights in Belarus. Therefore, I would consider this visit of Bolton, as well as the visit of Deputy Secretary of State scheduled for September, as an opportunity to analyze the situation on the ground and get an objective picture," said the expert.

According to him, one shouldn't expect anything global from Bolton's visit to Minsk. "The United States can't even offer anything to the Belarusian side. But what is very important for the U.S. is to understand how willing Belarus is to resist the Russian pressure and defend its sovereignty," said Sivitsky.



The loss of Belarus' independence, in his view, will have negative strategic consequences for the national security of the U.S. and its allies in the region. "Therefore, it is very important for Washington to closely monitor the situation with the so-called deepening of integration, with the Kremlin's ultimatum. And one of the purposes of Bolton's visit is to get this information firsthand. That is to say, to meet with Alyaksandr Lukashenka in order to 'dot the i's and cross the t's regarding these boundaries of deeper integration," said Arseni Sivitsky.


In 2025, Belarus will not care whether to buy oil from Russia or the United States

As for the lifting of sanctions, the main thing here is to "set free" the state company Belneftekhim so that Belarus could buy American light oil to replace the Russian one. "Belarus is preparing for the situation when in five years, when the "tax maneuver" is over, the prices of Russian oil will reach the world prices. Therefore, even taking into account the logistics costs, the U.S. oil will cost Belarus approximately the same as the Russian oil. Therefore, Belarus won't care who to buy oil from," says the expert.

In the medium term, Americans are preparing to enter the European energy market with their oil and compete with Russia. They will have to prepare infrastructure that would make the export of American oil cheap, explains Sivitsky.