24 March 2012
The Belarusian expert community vigorously debated three topics last week: the EU-Belarus diplomatic conflict, the deepening dependence of Belarus upon Russia and capital punishment.
A Letter to a European Friend – Siarhey Dubavets ...
21 March 2012
Diplomatic scandal with the European Union, political prisoners and economic sanctions remain in the focus of attention of Belarusian analysts. Other topics include the effect of Putin's election as president in Russia, the state of the legal profession in Belarus, and a review of human rights violations in February 2012.
19 March 2012
Today Lukashenka is taking part in the Interstate Council of the Eurasian Economic Community in Moscow to "give new momentum to the integration processes." With no EU ambassadors in Minsk, relations between Belarus and Western nations are at their lowest point in the country's independent history. The Belarusian government is increasingly relying on Moscow in its new conflict...
11 March 2012
The fresh conflict between the EU and Belarus kept the analytical community busy and organised civil society. Experts also analysed why Belarusian authorities prefer to be pro-Russian and whether the EU has any leverage against Belarusian authorities.
Moscow Behind Us! And Before Us - political analyst Andrei Fedorov talks about the...
07 March 2012
The incumbent Belarusian government has a long record of deceptive behaviour in its foreign relations. Both its major trading partners – Russia and the European Union – have more than once seen official Minsk let them down on its commitments and promises. These promises included political liberalisation, introduction of single currency with Russia, recognition of Abkhasia and South...
06 March 2012
EU travel ban against 21 Belarusian officials provoked extravagant behaviour by Belarusian authorities which analysts are still struggling to explain. On 28 February Belarus asked the Polish and EU delegation ambassadors to leave the country. The EU response was strong and equally unexpected: it recalled all its ambassadors from Minsk in a sign of solidarity.
This confrontation wasted...
02 March 2012
The recent pull-out of EU ambassadors from Minsk signals the deeply troubled relations between Belarus and the West. The amended and updated Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011 that was signed by US President Barack Obama in January outlines the official policy and maintains sanctions that have been in place for several years.
The proposed goals of the West, however, remain...
20 February 2012
Belarusian opposition activist Siarhei Kavalenka may soon die as a result of a 59-day hunger strike against his criminal prosecution. He and other 14 opposition and civil society activists remain in prisons for their political views. US and EU officials, including Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, repeatedly called for a release of all political prisoners before any negotiations with...
08 February 2012
31 January 2012
On January 23 Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronis Ažubalis stated that the EU should be more open towards ordinary Belarusians and increase pressure on the Belarusian regime. A year ago EU Commissioner Štefan Füle announced a “balanced approach” to overcome the harsh consequences of the 2010 post-election opposition crackdown in Belarus. However, in practice the EU...
18 January 2012
Last week Gunnar Wiegand from the European Commission announced that the EU was going to extend sanctions against Belarus. 135 more people may be added to the existing list of 208 Belarusian officials who are prohibited to visit the EU. Diplomatic sources also suggest that one or several Belarusian enterprises may be added to the ban list.
Europe wants to show...
10 January 2012
Alexander Rumak from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection declared that the Belarusian labour market would not deteriorate this year. According to official figures, the unemployment rate in Belarus is merely 0.6% of the economically active population. The reality, however, is different from the rosy picture the Government of Belarus is trying to paint.
Thousands of young...