17 May 2013
In less than two weeks, the Secretary of the Security Council Leanid Maltsau has to submit his proposal on the optimisation of the law enforcement agencies ("siloviki"). This follows the Presidential Decree No. 168 aimed at reforming the public...
13 May 2013
The Minister of Education Syarhei Maskevich announced on 3 May 2013 that "Belarusian universities enjoy a high level of autonomy". Considering the fact that Belarus remains the only European state outside of Bologna process precisely because of its lack of academic freedoms, top...
10 May 2013
On 9 May the annual parade took place in Minsk to honour the victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. According to today's official statistics during that war every third Belarusian inhabitant died. Nazis killed around 600-800 thousand Jews, 80% of the total Jewish population of Belarus.
Remembering the war which started in 1941, after Germany's...
02 May 2013
Last week Belarus Digest published an article about the problems of technical assistance to Belarus. The current piece recommends possible solutions to those problems.
In the first place the EU should send a clear message to the Belarusian authorities that Belarus will be able to...
26 April 2013
Despite European protests against human rights violations, the European Union continues to render technical assistance to Belarus. In 2012-2013, Belarus can get more than € 55m in the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Eastern Partnership.
For Belarus, the EU is the largest potential development cooperation donor. Overall, since 1991 the...
25 April 2013
On 18 April district court of Ašmiany concluded a trial of Belarus Press Photo – 2011 album. The KGB, which initiated the case, argued that the album contains extremist elements and the court agreed with it.
Belarus enacted the Law on Counteraction against Extremism 2007. Security services elaborated it in order to prevent potential colour revolution in Belarus, but...
23 April 2013
On 19 April Alexander Lukashenka delivered his annual address to the nation and parliament. For more than three hours he has been speaking about priorities on his current political and economic agenda and answered MPs’ questions.
Economic modernization, privatisation and relations with the EU and Russia featured at the top of his agenda. All the topics went under an unusual...
11 April 2013
On Friday, 12 April from 13:00 until 15:00 GMT, Belarus Digest will be broadcasting live a discussion panel “What Do Belarusians Think?” which focuses on the latest results of a national public opinion poll carried out by Belarus’ leading pollsters and analysts.
The event is organised by the Eastern European Studies Center (Lithuania) and the ...
10 April 2013
The Lukashenka administration has lately reached out to European leaders in a purported attempt to reach common ground. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei initiated numerous consultations with European policymakers during the last three months.
Makei will also be meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkēvičs, on 10 April while Deputy Foreign...
05 April 2013
Last Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Belarus. According to Belarusian officials and media the minister came just to sign visa abolition and readmission agreements. The Turkish Foreign Ministry added that ministers had, "exchanged views on regional issues mainly Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.” This addition appears to be especially intriguing since never...
01 April 2013
The unexpected death of Boris Berezovsky has moved his relations with the Belarusian authorities into the spotlight. Over the past 15 years Boris Berezovsky regularly appeared in Belarusian politics. Analysts are even discussing a possible friendship between Boris Berezovsky and Alexander Lukashenka.
In the 1990s, Berezovsky persuaded Lukashenka to release Russian journalists from...
29 March 2013
Last week a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Belarus was not ready to implement an agreement on local border traffic with Poland.
The reason given was ‘the anti-Belarusian position of the Polish government'. Although both sides have already signed the agreement and the parliaments ratified it in 2010, Minsk is clearly not in a hurry to implement...