Belarus’s post-Soviet theatre, opportunistic technical fiddling or Putin’s ace in the hole?

Alarm bells have been going off in Belarus, which may be cut off from the generous Russia has granted the republic for decades. Like with so much in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), it began with energy: the Russian reform of its oil sector – known as the “tax manoeuvre” – paved the way for the abolition of export duties over 2019-2024, offsetting the cost through tax increases elsewhere.

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