09 January 2017
While the governments of Belarus and Lithuania continue to clash over the construction of the Astraviec nuclear power plant, Lithuanian investors in Belarus are continuing to operate normally. Lithuanian businessmen became the largest Western investors in Belarus, adding more than €80 mln to the Belarusian economy in 2015.
Investments remain at a high level, although several...
08 December 2016
On 7 December, the head of the Russian Railways stated that his company can provide a large enough discount to Belarusian companies to allow them to cease transporting cargo through the Baltic States. At the same time, Latvian officials continue to pitch their ports to the Belarusian government.
So far, Belarus primarily uses Lithuanian ports, but Russia and Latvia may take advantage of...
22 November 2016
On 15 November, Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis presented his country's new energy strategy. Although it is not stated directly, the strategy strongly implies that Lithuania will not buy electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which will begin operating in 2019.
In recent years, the issue of the Belarusian NPP has stifled bilateral relations and it seems that...
03 August 2016
On 10 July 2016 there was an incident at the construction site of the new Astraviec Nuclear Power Plant.
According to local whistle-blower Mikalai Ulasevich, a crane dropped the 330-tonne reactor from a height of 2-4 metres during a test lift. Until 26 July the officials either actively denied the incident or simply kept silent.
For Belarusians, this is painfully reminiscent of...
25 May 2016
In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus.
Vilnius is worried about environmental and safety issues. Minsk sees economic and political motives behind Lithuania's claims....
31 August 2015
In July the Ministry of Trade announced a plan to levy a tax on online purchases in foreign shops. Since then the state agencies have been elaborating the methods that will be used for tax collection. It could become another tool to prevent Belarusian customers from buying abroad, both online and in the flesh.
Earning almost three times less than Poles and Lithuanians, Belarusians...
24 February 2015
On 23 February Belarus and other post-Soviet countries celebrated the Day of Defenders of the Fatherland and the Day of Armed Forces. A minute of silence commemorates those who died defending their country.
Siarhej Leskiec visited the defenders of Belarus’s border with Lithuania at Losha Border Guard Post in Astraviec region.
Border troops also known as the Belarusian Green...
30 April 2014
Western analysts see an opportunity, but also serious challenges to Belarus' ties with the West. The crisis in Ukraine may be an opening for the West to reconsider its position towards Belarus. Any changes in the West's ties in Belarus must not draw the ire of Moscow.
Belarus is carefully assessing its ties with its neighbours. Lukashenka met with one of the new heads of...
28 October 2013
The Lithuania’s six month European Union presidency which started in July has led to talk of a new Eastern policy. Lithuania wants to keep EU enlargement on the European agenda, showing Eastern neighbours that the European Union wants enlargement. It acts as an answer to Russia and that the Russian inspired Customs Union is not the only answer for the former-Soviet Union region...
14 June 2013
The European Humanities University (EHU) was forced into exile in 2004 when the Belarusian authorities withdrew its licence. This followed the EHU’s refusal to acquiesce to government pressure to change its leadership. The exiled University found its new home in Vilnius, which is less three-hours by train from Minsk.
The current rector of the EHU should step down soon in...
29 May 2013
Over the last months the European press covered a wide range of Belarus-related topics starting from worsening economic dependence upon Minsk and the change in Minsk approach towards the West. The recent trial against Belarusian photographers and the market of selling visa appointments also drew attention of Western journalists.
The "visa black market". ...
20 May 2013
The European Humanities University, also known as Belarus's university in exile, is struggling to find its identity. It is torn apart between being the Belarusian university in exile and a "normal" European university based in Lithuania. Some say, it has lost its Belarusian character and gave up on its original mission. Others say that moving away from the Belarusian language and...