29 March 2012
Although formally a member of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), unfortunately Belarus does not participate in any of its programmes. It is excluded from visa liberalisation, the EaP flagship initiatives, and bilateral track programmes: for example, the Small and Medium-Size Enterprise Funding facility with a ...
28 March 2012
The EU Council of Ministers recently introduced new restrictive measures against Belarusian businessmen and 29 companies that allegedly support the Belarusian regime. It is the first time the EU added so many Belarusian enterprises to its ban list. European politicians expect that it will help release political prisoners in Belarus. But in practise, it may lead to further deterioration of the...
27 March 2012
Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich is a veteran of Belarusian politics. He served as Deputy Prime Minister of Soviet Byelorussia and then independent Belarus and was the key aide of Prime Minister Kebich, the main rival of Alexandr Lukashenka in 1994 presidential elections. In 1990s Lukashenka even promised to imprison him for corruption. But after being...
26 March 2012
Two things are already certain about the September 2012 parliamentary election in Belarus. First, the ballot will once again be rigged so that the “right” candidates are elected. Second, the West will not recognise the elections as free and fair.
The logical question, then, is why the Belarusian authorities still bother to organise elections and invite foreign observers to...
23 March 2012
German-Belarusian relations are currently at an all-time low. The tension is rising, and it is still uncertain when the German ambassador will return to Minsk. In the meantime, the Belarusian authorities are doing everything possible to further deteriorate relations. As a result, all major German parties now support new sanctions against Belarus.
- 20 March 2012
19 March 2012
Today Lukashenka is taking part in the Interstate Council of the Eurasian Economic Community in Moscow to "give new momentum to the integration processes." With no EU ambassadors in Minsk, relations between Belarus and Western nations are at their lowest point in the country's independent history. The Belarusian government is increasingly relying on Moscow in its new conflict...
09 March 2012
Viktar Lukashenka is a big enigma. The 36 year-old lieutenant-colonel and the oldest son of the current ruler is rumoured to be the next leader of Belarus.
Although Lukashenka has three sons, only Viktar acts as a political figure. Since Viktar became National Security Aide to his father, many analysts have come to explain every move inside the regime in terms of Viktar's influence...
06 March 2012
EU travel ban against 21 Belarusian officials provoked extravagant behaviour by Belarusian authorities which analysts are still struggling to explain. On 28 February Belarus asked the Polish and EU delegation ambassadors to leave the country. The EU response was strong and equally unexpected: it recalled all its ambassadors from Minsk in a sign of solidarity.
This confrontation wasted...
02 March 2012
The recent pull-out of EU ambassadors from Minsk signals the deeply troubled relations between Belarus and the West. The amended and updated Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011 that was signed by US President Barack Obama in January outlines the official policy and maintains sanctions that have been in place for several years.
The proposed goals of the West, however, remain...
28 February 2012
As the new diplomatic war between Belarus and the European Union unfolds, Belarus may lose its right to host the World Ice Hockey Championship in 2014. Because of problems with democracy and human rights The Congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) may reconsider its decision taken three years ago.
According to IIHF Communications Director Szymon Szemberg, the reason...
28 February 2012
How interesting is Belarus for Europeans? This was the question held in mind by a group of students of European Affairs in Sciences Po Paris, who have been conducting for already five months a project dedicated to Belarus, 'Бelarus Project'. To find the answer to this question, they have interviewed a good number of young...