oil and gas
14 December 2012
On 22 November, Alexander Lukashenka met with Putin`s protégé and head of the Gazprom directive board Alexey Miller.
During the meeting, Miller presented a program on how Gazprom will develop the Belarusian gas infrastructure and make new investments into the economy.
Gazprom has become a pioneer of the grand Russian business which has great influence...
09 October 2012
Apostolic nuncio Claudio Gugerotti is the only diplomat who can visit the Belarusian prisoners of conscience.
The Holy See seems to work as an intermediary between the European Union and Lukashenka with regard to release of the political prisoners. The nunciature tries to keep their profile low and refuses to give details of the visits to prisons. The secrecy of those visits...
25 June 2012
On 22 June Belarusian president asked PM Mikhail Miasnikovich to tackle inflation and ensure that the country’s average salary would reach $500 by the end of the year. In fact, it is not the right time to share oil revenues with the population when authorities badly need free money to repay their foreign debt and modernise the economy.
The Belarusian leadership understands...
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.
11 May 2012
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka highlighted the need to modernise the Belarusian economy in his annual speech for the national Parliament on 8 May. These words coincide with a goal of the new EU project "Dialogue on Modernization for Belarus". But the two sides see the process of modernization quite differently. Minsk wants to avoid any political reforms while the EU is...
27 April 2012
The Ambassadors of Poland, Lithuania and Sweden have returned to Minsk and their colleagues are on the way to the Belarusian capital. It seems that EU-Belarus relations have broken the deadlock, but they remain difficult and the EU has few carrots to offer its restive authoritarian neighbour. Unlike countries like Moldova and Armenia, Belarus is increasingly integrating into the Eurasian...
15 April 2012
Former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and his main campaign aide Dzmitry Bandarenka have been released from prison on the eve of the Christian Orthodox Easter. It looks like the first step in the de-escalation of the worst EU-Belarus conflict in history. It is likely that expectations of Vladimir Putin’s pressure after his re-election contributed more to the long-...
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.
28 March 2012
The EU Council of Ministers recently introduced new restrictive measures against Belarusian businessmen and 29 companies that allegedly support the Belarusian regime. It is the first time the EU added so many Belarusian enterprises to its ban list. European politicians expect that it will help release political prisoners in Belarus. But in practise, it may lead to further deterioration of the...
20 March 2012
This month the EU External Action faced a stubborn unwillingness by two post-Soviet countries to listen to its advice on political reforms. As the diplomatic scandal unfolded in Minsk, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protested against the behaviour of the EU Ambassador to Ukraine. At the...
20 February 2012
Belarusian opposition activist Siarhei Kavalenka may soon die as a result of a 59-day hunger strike against his criminal prosecution. He and other 14 opposition and civil society activists remain in prisons for their political views. US and EU officials, including Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, repeatedly called for a release of all political prisoners before any negotiations with...
26 December 2011
November and December events clearly show that Russia's policies towards Belarus are dictated primarily not by economic considerations but political. Russia is willing to spend billions of dollars in subsidies to keep the status quo in Belarus. The European Union, on the other hand, is more and more busy with its own problems, the most important of which is the crisis of the Eurozone...