- 04 August 2015
31 July 2015
On July 17, 2015, Representative Steve Pearce of New Mexico proposed a bill imposing sanctions on JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest potash miners.
Titled "Belarus Democracy and Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015", the bill emphasises human rights violations in Belarus and warns that the October 2015 election is unlikely to be free.
The call for sanctions...
31 July 2015
On 13 July, the Council of the European Union once again removed restrictions against several Belarusian officials and entities subjected to an EU-wide travel ban and asset freeze.
That decision amended Belarus sanctions listings introduced after the failure of Belarus authorities to meet OSCE commitments to democratic elections in 2006 and 2010.
EU foreign ministers have already...
28 July 2015
In July, Belarus launched a diplomatic offensive to build ties with regional superpowers like China, India and Brazil seeking to counterbalance the much-publicised overtures its has been making to the West.
The BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, provided Lukashenka with a good opportunity to meet many leaders of the developing world.
Belarus also succeeded in upgrading its status in...
24 July 2015
On 2 July Belarus witnessed a rather unusual show – 200 Chinese workers marched dozens of kilometres towards the city of Homiel in protest against wage arrears and poor working conditions. These foreign workers are currently employed by the Chinese company Siuan Yuan which is building a paper factory.
A similar protest organised by Belarusians is almost unthinkable in modern...
16 July 2015
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei criticised cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Minsk is no longer hiding that its own position on the EU-led Eastern Partnership initiative starkly differs from Russia's stance on the issue.
Although Minsk continues to assure Moscow about its brotherly support, brazen commentaries from pro-Putin commentators in...
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...