07 July 2015
Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s role as a mediator in the conflict in Ukraine has received high praise from European officials and partially ended the isolation of the republic. Recently the government has taken part in several high-level events, most notably the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga on 21-22 May.
But the potential impact of the collapse of the Minsk-2...
16 June 2015
On 9 June, the Chairman of Central Election Commission, Lidzia Yarmoshyna, declared that the 2015 presidential election in Belarus would take place on 11 October, pushing it ahead of the previously declared 15 November date, the latest possible date permitted by law. The House of Representatives will likely make the final decision on the matter by June 30 before their summer recess.
12 June 2015
On June 10, US President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Belarusian leaders for one more year. Responding to the news, press secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dzmitry Mironchyk observed a “clear improvement” in Belarus-US relations in recent years. In his view the decision is result of the sluggish US bureaucracy and lack of sensitivity to events in...
10 June 2015
This May, the Belarusian authorities increased pressure on a number of political prisoners, including former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkievič, anarchist Mikalaj Dziadok and political activist Jury Rubcoŭ.
This move appears unreasonable when set against a backdrop of improving relations with the West, as the political prisoners issue has always been a major contributing factor...
28 May 2015
Given the numerous ties which link Belarus to Ukraine, one might expect the radical political changes in Ukraine to revolutionise Belarus. Yet political activity in Belarus is barely noticeable, despite dramatic developments in Ukraine and the forthcoming presidential election.
Last month, political scientist Tatiana Chyzhova published the results of a monitoring project that reviewed...
22 May 2015
On 10-12 May, Chinese president Xi Jinping capped off his Eurasia trip with a visit to Minsk. As during his prior stops in Kazakhstan and Russia, the Chinese leader was sizing up the opportunities, as well as the risks, of deepening ties with countries in the Eurasian Economic Union.
Over the past two decades, Belarus has achieved a high level of confidence in its political relations...
- 19 May 2015
18 May 2015
After a second attempt, on 14 May Belarus joined the Bologna process and the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
While Belarus's acceptance into the Bologna process may open up prospects for long-term improvements in Belarusian education, there should not...
13 May 2015
At the Chernobyl Way rally last month, activists from the opposition group Malady Front carried a controversial poster titled “Game Over.” The poster, listing most opposition parties and movements, highlighted the dire state of the democratic opposition in Belarus.
Activist Mikola Dziamidzenka, who carried the poster, explained that the opposition parties are losing...
07 May 2015
On 22-24 April Aliaksandr Lukashenka paid his first official visit to Georgia in the history of his reign. Belarus and Georgia have maintained minimal economic and political ties over the years, mainly due to Russia’s confrontation with Georgia that has continued to develop over the past decade.
However, Belarus has refused to support the Russian-backed breakaway republics of...
05 May 2015
Belarus's recent leaning towards pro-Western nations in the Middle East follows fast on the heels of rapprochement with the West. On 6-7 May, Joint Belarus-Saudi Committee on Cooperation will meet in Riyadh. On 15 April, Belarus opened an embassy in Qatar.
Establishing closer links with the very centres of conservative Arab bloc allied with the West is a milestone in Belarusian...
29 April 2015
In Western democracies, parties exist to get politicians elected and help them implement policies. In Belarus, Lukashenka’s opponents cannot succeed at either of these activities. Even the political parties that do support the regime are only marginally more successful.
There are fifteen parties registered in Belarus; seven of them side with the government. These...