On October 16, the Belarusian and Venezuelan rulers had three-hour long talks behind closed doors in Minsk. Lukashenka thanked the Venezuelan leader for Venezuela’s...
15 December 2015
Despite his regained ability to travel to Europe, President Alexander Lukashenka’s 'social circle' has so far remained limited to leaders of countries that have difficulties in their relations with Western democracies.
In the past month, the Belarusian president has become his country’s most diligent diplomat. He welcomed his Serbian and Azerbaijani counterparts in...
26 August 2014
On 26 August, Minsk was the centre of attention for the international community, attracting hundreds of international reporters. The Belarusian authorities hosted a meeting between the Eurasian "troika", the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and three EU commissioners.
The very fact that they are holding such a meeting in Minsk became a major foreign policy success for the...
09 May 2014
On the May 9th most post-Soviet countries, including Belarus, celebrate Victory Day to commemorate World War II.
But unlike in previous years, this time around before May 9th state organisations in Belarus received an unexpected order - replace all V-Day decorations containing the St. George’s ribbon.
06 March 2014
At a meeting of presidents of the Customs Union on 5 March, Putin desperately tried to gain support on for Russia's invasion of Ukraine from his closest allies, Belarus and Kazakstan.
All his efforts, it would seem, appear to be in vain, as neither Lukashenka nor Nazarbaev publicly voiced support for Russia's aggression in Crimea. For both individuals, it became a dangerous...
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...
06 March 2012
EU travel ban against 21 Belarusian officials provoked extravagant behaviour by Belarusian authorities which analysts are still struggling to explain. On 28 February Belarus asked the Polish and EU delegation ambassadors to leave the country. The EU response was strong and equally unexpected: it recalled all its ambassadors from Minsk in a sign of solidarity.
This confrontation wasted...
13 December 2011
In Russia's recent elections to the State Duma the ruling United Russia party won. The Russian opposition claims that the authorities falsified the results in favour of Putin's party. Similar to Belarusian authorities, the Kremlin put pressure on independent observers, falsified the results to a certain degree and temporarily blocked independent sources of information. But overall...
27 October 2010
The integration with the European Union is an increasingly articulated priority of Russia’s foreign policy in recent months. Analysts close to the Kremlin frequently stress the complementarity of the economies of Russia and the EU. The draft foreign policy programme published some time ago by by Russian Newsweek speaks in the same spirit. The fact that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev...
- 19 October 2010
02 September 2010
It is hardly a secret that establishing diplomatic relations with an authoritarian state is a gamble. One never knows what one’s embassy in Minsk may suffer if it crosses swords with the Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
On the night of August 30, two Molotov cocktails were thrown into the compound of the Russian Embassy in Minsk. Three days later, an obscure anarchist...
05 June 2010
The post-Soviet integration and cooperation initiatives have an extremely unsuccessful track record. It seems that the problems persist. Recently, the very idea of Customs Union between Belarus, Russian Federation and Kazakhstan had been questioned, after the government of Belarus made clear its intent to insist on more tariffs exemptions, especially concerning Russian raw oil exported to...
05 May 2010
In the last months Ukraine has significantly increased its importance in the European part of the CIS. The new president Viktor Yanukovych enjoys a honeymoon with Russia: Ukrainian-Russian cooperation has started booming after previous president Viktor Yushchenko had left office. Ukraine and Russia have agreed on lower gas prices for Ukraine...