20 November 2015
Belarusian experts discussed Russian subsidies, economic reforms, which the government will have to implement and the challenges of their implementation. Other topics include human rights violations in July-September, coverage of the 2015 presidential elections in state media and the state of the third sector in Belarus.
Foreign policy analysis covers relations with Eurasia...
02 November 2015
On Saturday the suspension of most European Union targeted sanctions against Belarus came into effect.
The sanctions were suspended “in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations”. Ironically, the move comes a few weeks after the facade presidential election in October 2015.
22 October 2015
Belarus Digest launches a regular series of publications reviewing Belarusian state newspapers.
In the first publication of the series, Belarus has taken further steps to confirm its independence vis-a-vis Russia. Pro-government experts in Minsk have criticised the Russian elite for increased nationalism.
This rhetoric sees Belarus as an integral part of the...
25 September 2015
Putin’s announcement of a Russian air base in Belarus dominated western media in September. Western media see the declaration as further support of Russian expansion.
Other significant news: The EU might lift sanctions after Lukashenka freed 6 political prisoners. A decision may lift Lukashenka’s travel ban and allow some Belarusian companies to trade with the EU.
09 September 2015
Belarus’ strained relationship with Russia illustrates the contradictory relationship between its leadership and that in Moscow during the presidential election campaign.
The problematic areas include the war in Ukraine and the closely related issue of collaboration in the military-industrial complex.
In late 2014, at a meeting between president Aliaksandr Lukashenka and...
02 September 2015
On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year.
Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory of the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenka...
26 August 2015
On 24 August, the Brent oil price fell to $43, which was close to a 7-year low. Although Belarus has not got its own crude oil, this is terrible news for its economy. The cheaper the oil, the lower are benefits from the energy subsidies to Belarus from Russia.
Over the last 20 years Belarus has maintained, relatively successfully, a quasi-socialist economy mostly thanks to the generous...
25 August 2015
Last week, the Belarusian army newspaper Vo Slavu Rodiny published an article praising the newly received Russian warplanes. However, these Russian aircraft are a step backward compared to the equipment that Belarus already had.
President Lukashenka recently publicly complained that the Kremlin had refused to give Belarus a dozen aircraft. The Belarusian authorities therefore...
18 August 2015
Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same period in 2014.
Two weeks after Russia introduced its food embargo, Howard Solomon, the minister counsellor at the US Embassy in Moscow,...
17 August 2015
On 4 August, Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with journalists of non-government media to discuss a wide range of topics. In particular he focused on the preelection campaign and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that Russia will not go to war with Belarus and no Russian planes operate on Belarusian territory.
This paper examines two aspects of the president’s...
27 July 2015
Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years ago he also projected that Belarus would join the WTO by the end of 2013. Is this time going to be any different?
18 May 2015
After a second attempt, on 14 May Belarus joined the Bologna process and the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
While Belarus's acceptance into the Bologna process may open up prospects for long-term improvements in Belarusian education, there should not...