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Belarus does not always set people’s imaginations alight. But it should at least grab their attention, now Russia threatens its independence. Almost 40 per cent of Germany’s imported gas arrives through Belarusian pipelines. Belarus’s loss of independence would directly affect Poland’s relationship with Russia, and upset Ukraine’s balancing act between east and west. Yet Russia still feels the former Soviet Republic is part of the motherland. Belarus is a primary Russian transit artery to Europe and a strategic buffer against Nato. The armed forces of the two countries are integrated. And now Russia may have finally bought the subservience of…

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