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...
21 March 2016
On 10 March 2016, Minsk hosted an international conference titled The Death Penalty: Transcending the Divide.
According to Stavros Lambrinidis, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, a moratorium on the death penalty would send a positive signal for relations between Belarus and the EU and improve the international image of Belarus.
The existence of the death penalty has...
10 March 2016
Belarus and Sweden are steadily improving their relations, harshly damaged by a diplomatic row in 2012. Sweden has patiently worked on reestablishing its diplomatic presence in Minsk. Belarus is in no hurry to reciprocate.
Earlier this year a delegation of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) had talks in Belarus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Should...
07 March 2016
On 11 October 2015 it was officially revealed that Alexander Lukashenka had won his fifth presidential election. Five months post-election it appears obvious that it is set to be his most difficult term in office yet.
Despite a very vague election manifesto, the Belarusian state leader has already managed to break some of his promises. For instance, the platform promised that the...
25 February 2016
Federika Mogherini, the EU's chief diplomat, has denied that Brussels lifted sanctions against Belarus on geopolitical grounds. Anonymously, EU officials, on the contrary, have confirmed that the decision embodied the victory of pragmatism in Brussels.
For the EU, democracy in Belarus has become less important than maintaining sustainable relations with the country. On the other...
19 February 2016
Last month, Alexander Lukashenka pardoned six top officials charged with corruption. Not only that – he appointed them to manage unprofitable state-owned enterprises.
The decision reflects a haphazard approach to fighting corruption. Belarus ranked 107 out of 168 countries in a recent report by Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation that monitors corporate and...