The post-Soviet space is fluid and competitive with many actors, besides Russia, chasing their interests. Recently, also China has
gained the position of a stakeholder. Eastern European countries offer China a number of advantages while they see it as an opportunity to improve their economy. China is offering its rewards without imposing “conditionality”. In political terms, Beijing’s economic support can increase their bargaining power vis à vis Moscow while providing a relief to those countries “penalize”
by Brussels. In the short and medium term, the Chinese presence in Eastern Europe can even underpin Russia influence in the region. The economic support Beijing is providing in particular to Belarus and Ukraine is reinforcing these countries leadership, respected in Moscow but not appreciated in Brussels. However, it is difficult to predict if and when Beijing’s economic leverage could result in a more political ambition over the region, clashing not only with Russia’s influence but also with other actors’plans.