01 August 2016
Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began, the Kremlin has persistently tried to expand its control over Belarus, a process that has had quite the opposite effect as Belarusian government policy became more independent in 2014-2015.
There has always existed a paradox in the simultaneous contingence and estrangement in Belarusian-Russian relations.
Estrangement looks the stronger...
06 May 2016
On 25 April, Belarus ' State Military Industrial Committee announced that in the first quarter of 2016 its defence industrial enterprises had increased exports by 31 per cent compared to the previous year. Their net profit grew even more, by 1.6 times.
Remarkably, the Belarusian defence industry has succeeded even while Moscow continues its policy of restricting access to Russian...
25 March 2016
Economic difficulties push Belarusian authorities to extraordinary ways of gathering revenues. They continue arrests of top businessmen, regardless of their position in Lukashenka's apparatus, on tax evasion charges, allegedly waiting for a big payoff.
In domestic politics, the authorities try to modernise Belarus' political system and raise the role of loyal political parties...
03 December 2015
The first year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has highlighted how differently Russia and Belarus see this integration project.
While Russia tries to create something resembling for the external audience the European Union and for the internal audience Soviet Union, Belarus has failed to gain additional benefits from the project. Reduction of a large number of trade tariff...
16 July 2015
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei criticised cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Minsk is no longer hiding that its own position on the EU-led Eastern Partnership initiative starkly differs from Russia's stance on the issue.
Although Minsk continues to assure Moscow about its brotherly support, brazen commentaries from pro-Putin commentators in...
08 October 2014
According to a leaked document published by TUT.BY this week, the Belarusian parliament will insert its own special clause when it ratifies the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The clause will reserve the country’s right to ignore its treaty obligations if Russia does not agree to lift all barriers of the free trade regime that are harmful to Belarus.
This most recent...
07 July 2014
While Ukraine was preparing to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, Russia was trying to secure the support of Belarus and Kazakhstan in introducing protective measures against Ukrainian goods.
Moscow failed to convince its Eurasian partners that Kyiv’s Association Agreement would pose a threat to their economies and had to resort to taking unilateral action for raising...
11 June 2014
While the Kremlin has achieved its primary goal by launching the Eurasian Economic Union last month, the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan look unsatisfied.
Both want to slow down the integration project's progress down and prevent it from spilling over in the political arena.
However, Kazakhstan and Belarus lack common long-term goals, and their respective economic...
06 June 2014
Aliaksandr Lukashenka expressed his resentment over exemptions and restrictions in the Eurasian Economic Union treaty during a meeting with a chairman of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament on 5 May.
However, Lukashenka had effectively no other choice as to agree on the creation of this economic bloc a week earlier, because the Belarusian economy heavily...
04 May 2014
Alexander Lukashenka's annual address to the Belarusian people and parliament was the number one news item of the past week.
The head of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan met in Minsk to discuss Eurasian integration.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, reported to the Belarusian leader...
24 April 2014
On 22 April President Lukashenka delivered his annual address to the nation and parliament. The “phantom” of Ukraine stood behind almost every part of his speech. During his annual address, Lukashenka made some impressive, even revolutionary, statements.
He called on Belarusians to unite in the face of external threats and demanded the punishment of those who speculate on...
08 April 2014
The presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia plan to sign the founding treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union in May 2014.
With the signing less than two months ahead, the parties cannot reach a compromise on a number of contested issues, such as trade exemptions.
Belarus seeks to abolish oil exemptions. This will mean an additional $3-4 billion for...