03 May 2017
Belarus’s recent regression in the human rights field has failed to visibly affect the intensity of its contacts with Europe. However, European governments seem to have taken note of the criticism they received for their initially meek reaction and have been voicing their concerns both publicly and (more often) privately.
Lukashenka’s ‘indiscriminate and inappropriate...
16 March 2017
Minsk alludes to 'shared values' with Europe as Brussels downplays repression - Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
Security services have so far detained over 150 protesters following mass rallies in Belarus. Many were arrested or fined, and some were beaten.
However, the authorities' return to mass repression of the opposition has provoked a muted reaction from Western democracies. The government’s actions have so far failed to disrupt the intensive dialogue between Minsk and European...
21 December 2016
Relations between Belarus and the European Union are still in crisis. An EU resolution on Belarus, delivered on 24 November, once again demonstrated just how weak bilateral relations are. According to the document, the Belarusian government has yet to resolve several key problems hindering the EU-Belarus...
08 November 2016
Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum (KEF 2016) took place in Minsk with over 500 participants including high level stakeholders from government, international (financial) institutions, business and civil society. Minsk Dialogue holds a conference on pan-European integration.
Small vendors draft People's Law. Trade unions and human rights organisations discuss a strategy against the law on...
02 September 2016
In July and August, Belarusian diplomats kept busy reinforcing ties with the country’s partners in Central and Eastern Europe. These relationships may prove to be instrumental in bolstering Belarus's foreign policy positions.
Foreign minister Vladimir Makei travelled to Kyiv in the midst of another flare-up in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. His deputy Alena Kupchyna...
08 June 2016
In May, Belarus fought another battle for the traditional family at the UN, even if its stance on the issue antagonises the West and finds little international support outside of the Islamic world.
The country maintained an active dialogue with Europe but mostly at a working level. Unlike in previous months, not a single European foreign minister visited Belarus.
23 May 2016
After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement.
Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this reality due to tensions in its Eastern neighbourhood, the fact that it has no reliable political allies within Belarus, and...
08 February 2016
Increase in Illegal Migration to EU via Belarus, Cultural Treasures Restitution – State Press Digest
In a time of economic downturn, the Belarusian authorities fear making any changes to the current political and economic model, which is well regarded in the state press. The Belarusian leadership has rejected market reforms and is resorting to administrative measures, increased regulation and strict discipline.
Major state-sponsored organisation Belaja Ruś, dubbed a “party of the...
28 December 2015
Belarus’ relations with Europe have found a new lease of life after the suspension of the EU sanctions against Minsk. The EU’s intends to double its financial assistance to Belarus in 2016.
The removal of sanctions allowed Belarus’ foreign minister Vladimir Makei to visit Germany, a trend-setting country for Belarusian-European cooperation. A month later, Makei met all...
21 August 2015
The summer holidays proved to be productive for the relations of Belarus with both "old" and "new" Europe.
Foreign minister Vladimir Makei ended a continued pause in high-level contacts with Belarus' southern neighbour by an unconventional five-day long visit to Ukraine in mid-August. There, he took the risk of enraging Russia by meeting its mortal foe Mikheil...
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...
29 May 2015
Two of the main events in Belarus' diplomatic life in May were China's presidents visit to Minsk and Belarus' participation in the Eastern Partnership summit – both of which have fitted well into Minsk' foreign policy priorities.
These priorities include developing alternatives to Russia's dominant role in the economic and security arenas and strengthening the...