The Role of Small States in the Post-Cold War Era: The Case of Belarus

  • May 01, 2012
  • Dr Dmitry Shlapentokh

The United States is no longer the only global center of power as it was in the first years of post-Cold War era. Neither are there just two superpowers — the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — that define the course of global events. The new multipolarity implies the presence of several centers of power that will provide the opportunity for small states, such as Belarus, to move from one center of power to the other and/or to engage in a sort of geopolitical gamesmanship. During the last 10 years or so, Belarus moved from Russia to the European Union and back, while at the same time engaging in relationships with Iran and China. While relationships with Russia and the European Union have not been stable, the story is different with China and Iran. Belarus has always maintained a good relationship with both countries, especially with China. This demonstrates the increasing role of Asia in the geopolitical arrangements now and certainly in the years to come.