Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Belarus, a landlocked country in the eastern Europe, gained independence in the 1991, with the collapse of the USSR. It has maintained the closest political and economic relationships with Russia of all the former Soviet states, being largely dependent on its powerful neighbor for import of materials and energy and for its export market. However, relations with Russia deteriorated in the summer of 2010, following disputes over energy pricing, customs union terms, which caused increases in the rates Minsk must pay for Russian energy. This, as well as a generous populist campaign of public spending before the 2010 presidential election, has led to an economic meltdown, forcing Belarus to borrow increasing amounts of money. Learn more about the economy of the authoritarian state, its resources and economic alliances in this book.