18 April 2013
EU Sanctions divide Belarusian civil society, Belarusian Association of Journalists calls to drop proceedings related to photo albums. A crowd sourcing web site Talaka launched. After dismissal on case on the journal ARCHE, criminal case against Valery Bulhakau will not be initiated.
06 March 2013
On weekends, Vilnius looks like a Belarusian city.
Cars with Belarusian registration plates, crowds of Belarusians carrying shopping bags, even bus schedules to Belarus from big shopping centres. In 2012, according to the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism, 400,000 Belarusian guests visited Lithuania.
In politics, Lithuania maintains a critical position against Lukashenka...
04 August 2012
On Friday, Belarusian Foreign Ministry declared that it would not prolong the residence permit for the Swedish ambassador Stefan Ericsson. It caused predictable sharp reaction of Sweden and the European Union.
It also put an end to speculations that participation of the Belarusian foreign minister Siarhiej Martynau in the Eastern Partnership foreign ministers meeting in...
27 June 2012
This month seven more European states joined the EU sanctions against Belarus. As a result of this year's new extension of restrictive measures target not only officials and politicians but also businessmen. It means that this politicised problem involves clear economic underpinning.
The history of relations between Belarus and the...
24 May 2012
Latvia has been consistently opposing economic sanctions against the Belarusian government. The EU hopes to use sanctions to persuade Belarus authorities stop human rights violations.
However, Lativa is sceptical about their effectiveness and can suffer significant economic losses as a result of them. Last year the amount of bilateral trade reached a historical maximum of $33bn.
01 May 2012
On Monday, Switzerland joined the EU sanctions against Belarusian citizens and firms believed to support dictatorship. Most of these firms belong to Vladimir Peftiev. Belarusian and international media often portray him as having a significant role in the regime. That prompted the EU to punish him and some other businessmen for their support of Lukashenka. However, the significance...
24 April 2012
The recent release of two opposition activists is an important event but hardly a turning point for the political situation in Belarus. More than a dozen political prisoners remain incarcerated. Even if Alexandr Lukashenka frees all political prisoners and welcomes EU ministers in Minsk, it will not be a turning point, either.
First, Lukashenka can very soon change his mind, take new...
06 April 2012
Yesterday Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin talked with Alexander Lukashenka over the telephone. On the same day Lukashenka announced at a meeting with Belarusian foreign policy officials that he may release some of Belarus' political prisoners.
The relation between these two facts is unclear. However, this coincidence once again provokes thoughts as to Russia's...
04 April 2012
Belarusians and Lithuanians have a long common history which started long before the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 500 years ago. Two nations followed clearly divergent paths only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When Lukashenka came to power, he recognised the state border of Lithuania and thus prevented the main source of possible tension between two countries.
23 March 2012
German-Belarusian relations are currently at an all-time low. The tension is rising, and it is still uncertain when the German ambassador will return to Minsk. In the meantime, the Belarusian authorities are doing everything possible to further deteriorate relations. As a result, all major German parties now support new sanctions against Belarus.
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...
14 May 2011