07 October 2015
On 11 October, Belarus will hold presidential elections. The Belarusian authorities try to create an image of democratic elections at a time when Alexander Lukashenka looks weak due to the economic recession.
Realistically no one expects a fair vote count. The official results will be produced to bring victory to Alexander Lukashenka. But there are three things that can...
05 October 2015
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka went to New York on 26–29 September to attend the world leaders' meetings at the United Nations. The country’s servile state-run media stubbornly called his trip a “working visit to the United States”.
Meanwhile, the sojourn in New York lacked any bilateral dimension. In fact, Lukashenka is still under the United...
17 September 2015
On 9 September the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini stated that the EU should "not to miss a new window of opportunity" in relations with Belarus after Alexander Lukashenka's decision to pardon six remaining political prisoners.
Although the West remains cautious, waiting for the outcome of the October presidential elections, this round of a...
09 September 2015
Belarus’ strained relationship with Russia illustrates the contradictory relationship between its leadership and that in Moscow during the presidential election campaign.
The problematic areas include the war in Ukraine and the closely related issue of collaboration in the military-industrial complex.
In late 2014, at a meeting between president Aliaksandr Lukashenka and...
04 September 2015
On 29 August, Ales Charkashyn, a member of tactical volunteer group Belarus Fighting in Donbas, died from combat wounds. This is the first known death of a Belarusian citizen fighting on the Ukrainian side.
No Ukrainian diplomats attended Charkashyn’s funeral in Brest yesterday. Kyiv has been reluctant to acknowledge the devotion of Belarusian volunteers fighting for Ukraine by...
02 September 2015
On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year.
Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory of the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenka...
24 August 2015
On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures.
Lukashenka is trying to enter the same river twice - to repeat the ...
17 August 2015
On 4 August, Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with journalists of non-government media to discuss a wide range of topics. In particular he focused on the preelection campaign and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that Russia will not go to war with Belarus and no Russian planes operate on Belarusian territory.
This paper examines two aspects of the president’s...
13 August 2015
By the end of August, 40 long-term observers of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Belarus to keep an eye on the Presidential elections.
Since 1991 Belarus has been a member of this organisation and a constant target of criticism. This year the observers will probably not call the elections free and fair, but the Belarusian authorities hope that...
11 August 2015
Just as before the 2010 presidential elections the Belarusian authorities show certain signs of liberalisation. They do not use aggressive hostile propaganda on TV and have allowed the opposition to campaign without interference.
In addition, Alexander Lukashenka held a press-conference for three independent journalists, where he hinted on the possible release of the main political...
10 August 2015
Although the Belarusian authorities have managed to promote their country in a favourable light by hosting the high-level talks on Ukraine, they seriously worry about the direct spill-over of the Ukrainian conflict.
Belarus has already suffered economic losses from the Donbass war as its trade with Ukraine has fallen by more than 40% in 2015. In addition, it has hosted more than...
07 August 2015
On 20 July the Central Election Committee of Belarus registered eight initiative groups which nominate candidates for the presidency. Except Lukashenka himself, two candidates can be regarded as pro-government, three as oppositional and the other two as neutral and marginal.
Both pro-government candidates hold a strong pro-Russian position, but they cannot hope for any serious support...