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...
- 13 April 2015
11 March 2015
Russia is getting serious about the idea of creating a unified visa space with Belarus.
On 3 March, Moscow brought in big guns when Vladimir Putin announced upcoming talks on an agreement providing for the mutual recognition of each country's visas. Belarus has refused to confirm the existence of such plans so far.
The Schengen-like visa arrangement would deprive Minsk of...
03 March 2015
On March 3, in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin presented his Belarusian counterpart Aliaksandr Lukashenka with the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky award. Ostensibly it marked his work in international cooperation in the service of the Russian Federation, linked perhaps to his hosting of the Minsk agreements of September 2014 and February 2015.
Those agreements brought in the first...
18 February 2015
Fears that a call for mobilisation was on the horizon sent the public into a panic in Belarus, though the concerns were largely unfounded.
The Belarusian military and industrial complex is planning for the future and hopes on orders from Russia, though it remains unclear whether they will procure them. The CSTO creates a strategic defence management system and will try to confront the...
05 February 2015
At the end of January, Belarus temporally mobilised nearly 15,000 reservists - a large number for the nearly 50,000-strong national army.
A major Russian news portal Gazeta.ru linked this move to the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. At the same time, the Belarusian army began conducting military exercises.
The Belarusian parliament also introduced several amendments to...
- 04 February 2015