26 May 2016
Recently Belarus was considered a relative success story of the Eastern Partnership – no territorial disputes, no broken promises, only gradual positive dynamic in relations with the European Union (EU).
However, the intensity of Belarus-EU cooperation seems to have reached its limits. The lack of further progress in the human rights arena and dubious plans of Belarusians...
25 May 2016
In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus.
Vilnius is worried about environmental and safety issues. Minsk sees economic and political motives behind Lithuania's claims....
23 May 2016
After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement.
Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this reality due to tensions in its Eastern neighbourhood, the fact that it has no reliable political allies within Belarus, and...
12 May 2016
The Fifth Belarusian People's Congress will take place in Minsk on 22-23 June. The event will bring together 2,500 carefully selected participants from all over the country representing the branches of the government, industry and business, science, health and culture.
This Soviet-styled Belarusian institution is President Alexander Lukashenka’s preferred means of...
11 May 2016
American human rights watchdog Freedom House in its most recent global report has ranked Belarus in the bottom ten countries in the world in terms of media freedom. Scoring more poorly than some of the world's worst dictatorships in this survey seems unjust and harms the country’s already poor image.
Indeed, Belarus provides complicated conditions for journalists’ work,...
29 April 2016
Head of the Belarusian Central Electoral Commission Lydziia Yarmoshina on 20 April instructed activists of the Belaya Rus public association on the novelties of the upcoming parliamentary campaign.
When asked why she picked this particular organisation for a briefing, Yarmoshina recalled that most local officials are members of Belaya Rus, so it gathers the actual managers of the...
- 28 April 2016
27 April 2016
Belarusian parliamentary elections may take place on 11 September 2016, according to a recent statement by the Chairperson of the Belarusian Central Election Commission.
These elections will take place against the backdrop of President Alexander Lukashenka’s approval rating moving towards a historic low, and people's incomes falling rapidly.
This creates an opportunity...
26 April 2016
On 25-26 April, Minsk hosts an international conference titled Thirty Years after Chernobyl: From Emergency to Revival and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Affected Territories.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched his deputy Helen Clark, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, to attend the event.
After several years backstage, Chernobyl...
20 April 2016
On 14-15 April Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka took part in the Istanbul summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
This trip triggered another wave of derisory criticism in the Russian media. Even Kommersant, the liberal Russian daily, wrote about the 'demonstrative rapprochement of Ankara and Minsk' against the backdrop of deteriorating...
14 April 2016
On 29 March, President Alexander Lukashenka held a meeting dedicated to the accession of Belarus to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Belarus has enjoyed observer status in the organisation since 1993, and every few years proclaims it will speed up the accession process.
However, as Belarus’s economic reforms falter, a final deal remains elusive. The March meeting was intended...
30 March 2016
On 22-23 March, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski visited Belarus, as he explained, to normalise relations "without any pre-conditions". Prior to Waszczykowski's visit, Alexander Lukashenka had not yet confirmed whether he would meet with the Polish minister.
Despite the friendly atmosphere, the visit showed that the two countries still disagree on...