06 April 2017
On 3 April, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka succeeded in securing concessions from Vladimir Putin following a year-long oil and gas dispute between the two countries. In order to reach a deal, Minsk put the idea of buying oil from non-Russian sources back on the table.
On 15 February, the news source Reuters reported an oil deal between Belarus and Iran. It involved 80,000...
22 February 2017
Since late summer 2016, a small-scale refugee crisis has been unfolding at the Belarusian-Polish border near Brest, as several thousand Chechen refugees attempt to make their way into Poland.
They are mainly seeking political asylum in the EU, claiming that they are persecuted by the repressive regime in Chechnya. However, the majority fail to convince Polish border guards to allow them...
06 January 2017
In October-December 2016, almost 2,000 tourists took advantage of new visa-free regulations to visit Hrodna Region. In response to the increasing amount of foreign tourists, Hrodna Region has started working on two important initiatives: visa-free railway voyages and launching low-cost flights to Hrodna airport.
However, making railway services and the Hrodna airport accessible visa-...
27 December 2016
Education event in Minsk, call for London conference, Belsat, Astraviec NPP – Ostrogorski Centre digest
In December, analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre discussed Belarus' vote at the UN General Assembly, ongoing tension between Belarus and Lithuania over the Astraviec NPP, and the situation of Belsat TV.
On 13 December the Ostrogorski Centre and the Embassies of the Netherlands and Poland organised a conference on education as a human right in Minsk.
The Ostrogorski Centre, the...
21 December 2016
Belarus aims to expand its cooperation with Malaysia and hosts another high-level visit from Poland. The Belarusian delegation visits the US to discuss economic cooperation and investment with state agencies and corporations.
The authorities arrest three Belarus-based journalists from the Russian media on charges of propagating extremism. The KGB discloses large-scale corruption schemes...
24 November 2016
Belarus neutrality, border with Russia, visa-free zones, Belarus-Poland relations – Ostrogorski Centre digest
In November the Ostrogorski Centre released the first major publication on neutrality in Belarusian foreign and national security policy.
In their articles, analysts from The Centre discussed unresolved issues in Polish-Belarusian relations, border control policies and institutions, and the authorities' new policies on visa-free zones.
The Ostrogorski Centre commented...
04 November 2016
On 13 October Belarusian border guards received EU-funded special equipment worth €2.5m. This will help Minsk control the Ukrainian border. There is an element of irony in this: although it works to remove borders within the EU, Brussels is helping to construct them in the rest of Europe.
If Belarus succeeds in...
26 October 2016
Belarus establishes closer political and economic links with Asian countries hoping to boost exports. Lukashenka urges CSTO members to elaborate a new development strategy and attain recognition from global players.
The Belarusian Parliament ratifies the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Belarus emerges successful in the long-standing oil and gas dispute with Russia...
24 August 2016
Political parties see a renaissance during the ongoing parliamentary campaign, as 64% of all candidates are party affiliated. However, society still has only a vague understanding of the role parties play in the Belarusian political system.
The Polish vice speaker emphasises a need for closer cooperation between Belarus and Poland in order to maintain security at the EU border. The...
04 August 2016
This summer Ostrogorski Centre analysts have analysed developments in Belarus-Poland relations, life of regional media and the case of a new potential political prisoner. The Centre also published a major study of Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict.
In July the Centre held the first Ostrogorski Forum, a conference on foreign policy and security in Minsk which...
02 August 2016
A Polish expert advises Belarus to ignore OSCE recommendations, as they are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the modern political context. Belarus's new military doctrine shifts its focus from external threats to preventing regime change due to provoked internal conflicts.
President Lukashenka suggests engaging private farmers to save unprofitable collective farms. UNDP and Coca-...
09 June 2016
Minsk wants to maintain its own position in the latest confrontation between NATO and Russia in the region. Various Belarusian officials state that they see no immediate threat to Belarus from NATO, but rather from a possible internal conflict like those that occurred in Ukraine and Arab countries.
The Belarusian government is more preoccupied with bringing the Ukrainian border under...