10 March 2017
Recent statements by Belarusian officials have confirmed that the country's citizens should not expect a more liberal visa regime with Europe in the foreseeable future. Belarus's decision to introduce a conditional visa-free regime for nationals of eighty countries, many of them European, does not mean Europe has to reciprocate.
Georgia and Ukraine, Belarus’s fellow...
17 January 2017
Starting 12 February, citizens of 80 states, including 39 European countries, will be able to enter Belarus visa-free through the Minsk National Airport. But unlike Kazakhstan, which allows foreigners to stay in the country for up to 30 days, Belarus introduced a much more tricky visa-free regime.
Foreign travellers should be prepared for strict penalties should they fail to understand...
28 November 2016
Lukashenka expresses concerns over the ‘growing antagonism’ in EU-Russia relations during a meeting with a delegation from the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the EU. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, together with a delegation of Turkish businessmen, pays his first official visit to Minsk.
Belarus seeks to establish closer cooperation and attract investments from the...
16 November 2016
Despite some recent positive trends in relations between Belarus and Poland, several unresolved issues hamper their full normalisation.
Warsaw remains largely bound by the European Union’s official policy towards Minsk. The Belarusian authorities are suspicious of Poland’s support of democratic forces in Belarus.
Meanwhile, Poland’s conservative government has...
29 September 2016
In the first six months of 2016, according to the Ministry of Interior 4,076 Chinese labour migrants entered Belarus. They now outnumber all other nationalities, including Ukrainians, who peaked at 3,334.
The Belarusian government maintains a firm grip on the labour market, and strictly regulates the number of work permits available to foreigners.
While Belarus attempts to re-...
04 May 2016
In March 2016 the Belarusian government approved the new national programme The National Health and Demographic Security of Belarus for the upcoming period 2016-2020.
It aims "to stabilise population density and extend life expectancy". To achieve these admirable goals the government plans among other things to increase life expectancy from the current average of 73.2 years to...
23 February 2016
On 28 January the Polish Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers proposed granting residence permits to a million migrants currently in Poland. The majority of them are Ukrainians, followed by Belarusians and Vietnamese.
In recent years Poland has been aiming its immigration policy at absorbing a young labour force from the regions of former Polish rule, and has created unique preferences...
03 September 2015
At the end of July the Minister of Transport Anatol Sivak reported to Lukashenka on important road projects in Belarus, including a second ring road around Minsk and a road toll system.
Belarusian roads have became a brand in post-Soviet countries and even the EU because of their high quality.
Yet the road service remains poor despite attempts by the government to develop it. Due...
19 February 2015
On 6 February a Belarusian businessman received 5 years in prison for enslaving a group of Vietnamese whom he had earlier agreed to deliver to the European Union. Meanwhile, the Belarusian government has defined fighting human trafficking as one of its priorities both domestically and internationally, where it feels it has been successful.
The recent US report on trafficking, however,...
04 August 2014
On 30 July, the Belarusian foreign ministry held a large-scale commemoration of the first World Day against Trafficking in Persons.
Belarus prides itself upon being the driving force of multilateral efforts to combat this modern offshoot of slave trade.
In fact, it may be the only Belarusian foreign policy initiative enjoying strong international consensus and firm backing from...
20 February 2014
Few foreigners come to Belarus from the West. The Belarus-EU border itself appears to be tightly guarded, but the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius raised hopes for improved visa facilitation. Is Belarus at long last opening up?
A typical summer day on Independence Square in central Minsk: Several tourist groups gather around their tour guides and listen to stories about the sights...
14 October 2013
Although Belarusians have enjoyed the same rights in hiring, pay and social benefits as Russian citizens since 1996, migration from Belarus to Russia more than tripled since 2010.
According to the traditional view on high-skilled migration or brain drain, the home country bears only negative costs as, after investing in their education, the best workers leave to...