Convergence on cooperation: the driving factors In U.S. and Russian cooperation on Belarus
Brown, Joseph W.
Clunan, Anne L.
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RussiaBelarusOil PipelinesDemocratic RevolutionAs the last dictatorship in Europe, Belarus is a "problem state" for the United States. This thesis analyses U.S. interests in Belarus and assesses the extent of interdependence of these interests with Russian interests there. It first establishes a theoretical framework for U.S. and Russian national interests and the possibility for cooperation between the two countries. It then examines the mutuality of U.S and Russian interests in Belarus in the areas of democracy and human rights, drug and human trafficking, arms proliferation, oil and gas transit, and Russo-Belarusian trade and political integration and the policy options available to each country. Next, other elements of cooperation are applied to the situation in Belarus. Finally, the possibilities for cooperation are evaluated. This thesis demonstrates that the achievement of U.S. interests is significantly constrained by Russia's willingness to cooperate and that the United States can best achieve its objectives only through cooperation with Russia. This cooperation should center on neither country's first preference, but a compromise solution involving the ascendance of a moderate opponent to Lukashenka from within the Belarusian elite.
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