09 December 2015
After the Turkish downing of a Russian aircraft in Syria last month, Minsk refused to join Moscow in its accusations and recriminations against Ankara. It just lamented what happened between its “Russian ally” and “friendly Turkey.” Needless to say Minsk has also not supported any of the Russians sanctions imposed on Turkey.
Belarusian state media openly doubt...
03 December 2015
The first year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has highlighted how differently Russia and Belarus see this integration project.
While Russia tries to create something resembling for the external audience the European Union and for the internal audience Soviet Union, Belarus has failed to gain additional benefits from the project. Reduction of a large number of trade tariff...
12 November 2015
Following “peaceful” elections in Belarus, the United States sent two medium-level diplomats to Minsk on 4-5 November. Bridget Brink and Robert Berschinski came to reiterate America’s willingness to uphold the “virtuous cycle” in bilateral relations when one's positive steps are responded to in kind.
Continuing this trend, the two countries may agree on...
02 November 2015
On Saturday the suspension of most European Union targeted sanctions against Belarus came into effect.
The sanctions were suspended “in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations”. Ironically, the move comes a few weeks after the facade presidential election in October 2015.
27 October 2015
Belarus held presidential election between 6 and 11 October 2015. Almost seven million voters were eligible to cast ballots at 6,129 polling stations during the five day early voting period and election day on 11 October. This update summarises important events that occurred following the close of polls on 11 October and through 16 October, when the official results were announced.
23 October 2015
In October, the Belarusian foreign ministry worked hard to use the presidential elections as a tool to strengthen the positive trend in relations between Belarus and the West. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei managed not to miss this second chance, after the failure of a similar attempt in 2010.
Belarusian diplomats contacted the domestic opposition through different channels to dissuade...
21 October 2015
On 20 September, Alexander Lukashenka stated that he knew who was going to enter the new government. The previous government resigned, under Belarusian legislation, after Lukashenka's victory in the October presidential elections.
The new composition of the government will expose the state ruler's agenda and on whom he relies. On the one hand, a new elite has appeared that...
20 October 2015
Last week, pro-government Russian experts and media launched a new series of attacks on the Belarusian government. Minsk, they insisted, is going the way of Yanukovych's Ukraine.
Russian commentators agree on that regardless of their ideological colours. Be it the liberal Kommersant daily, government-affiliated think tanks or the radical right-wing Zavtra daily....
14 October 2015
The 2015 presidential election in Belarus revealed three important controversies for the authorities, the opposition and the West.
First, the Belarusian authorities want to look more democratic to the West without allowing any real changes inside the country.
Second, the opposition has the difficulty of wanting to play a role in the political process in Belarus but at the same...
11 October 2015
On 9 - 12 October, Belarus Digest provided live online coverage of the presidential elections in Belarus and international and domestic reactions to it.
Below, we feature a collection of stories from international and Belarusian media, videos, pictures, and comments from experts, which we have posted online during these days.
We thank our readers for your kind attention and...
09 October 2015
The official date for Belarus’s presidential election is 11 October. But if past elections are any guide, every third Belarusian will vote during the so-called “early voting” period, between 6 and 10 October.
In fact, 30 percent of Belarusians cast their ballots by the evening of 9 October, according to the Central Election Commission of Belarus.
It is a well-...
09 October 2015
On 11 October, Belarusians go to the polls in the fourth election in Belarus since Aliaksandr Lukashenka was voted president in 1994. The current campaign shares many of the features of its predecessors. As earlier, Western observers have focused on opinion polls, but in Belarus few are reliable. Thus NISEPI's publications take on special significance.
Yet during and after every...