Although trade between the EU and Belarus has intensified in recent years, the EU has suspended measures for a closer economic partnership with Belarus until Belarus` political and civil conditions improve. In the first scenario of pragmatic integration, Belarus does not seek to accelerate the implementation of economic agreements with the EU. However, the intensification of trade and the emergence of new links and new infrastructure between Belarus and the EU are inevitable, especially in the context of the looming logistics of oil and gas supply. In 1991, the European Economic Commission recognised Belarus` independence and Belarus is part of several bilateral and multilateral treaties with the European Union. [8] In 1995, Belarus and the European Union signed a partnership and cooperation agreement, but it was not ratified by the EU. Belarus is a member of trade agreements based on the eu`s generalised preference system and the most favoured nation. [9] Belarus is also part of the EU`s Eastern Partnership. [8] Although the European Union and Belarus signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (APC) in 1995 to govern mutual political and economic relations, this agreement has not been ratified by the EU. [20] In addition, the European Union has excluded Belarus from its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), initially intended to establish a “circle of friends” in the geographical vicinity of the Union. Brussels called the exclusion a direct response to the establishment of an authoritarian regime led by President Lukashenko.

However, trade relations between the EU and Belarus continue to fall under the EU`s system of generalised preferences and the most favourable provisions of the 1989 EU-Soviet Union agreement. [21] Belarus is one of the few countries in Europe that has not applied to join the European Union. Similarly, the European Union has not proposed Minsk membership. [22] Belarus has consistently sought to strengthen its economic and political relations with Russia, as it is one of the founding members of the State of the Union (formerly “the State of the Union of Russia and Belarus”). However, a decade later, politicians and experts debate the benefits and weaknesses of the framework. There have been positive developments. Three of the EU`s eastern neighbours – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – have undertaken democratic and economic change and have established increasingly close relations with the EU through association agreements, free trade agreements and large-scale visas. Another neighbour, Armenia, has recently embarked on an equally positive path. In a third scenario, a major event, such as an economic crisis or the looming challenge in China, forces the EU to turn to Moscow in search of cooperation based on common economic and security interests.