10 March 2017
Recent statements by Belarusian officials have confirmed that the country's citizens should not expect a more liberal visa regime with Europe in the foreseeable future. Belarus's decision to introduce a conditional visa-free regime for nationals of eighty countries, many of them European, does not mean Europe has to reciprocate.
Georgia and Ukraine, Belarus’s fellow...
16 January 2017
Belarus’s diplomatic activities slowed down before the holidays in December. The country’s diplomacy focused mostly on a multilateral agenda in preparation for its chairmanship of the Central European Initiative, as well as manoeuvring at the United Nations.
Foreign minister Vladimir Makei’s statement at an OSCE meeting was perhaps meant to be a programme declaration,...
10 February 2016
Israel’s decision to close down its embassy in Minsk and the immediate response in kind by the Belarusian government are likely to undermine recent positive trends in bilateral relations between the two countries.
Belarus has meanwhile sought to develop relations with other countries in the region, including Israel’s known foes, Iran and Morocco. Despite the recent...
05 November 2015
On 29 October, Belarusian diplomats had another verbal joust on the issue of human rights in New York. They managed to gather significant support from other international pariahs. However, the adoption of a UN resolution stating concern over the human rights situation in the country appears to be a certainty.
The Belarusian foreign ministry also promoted the Eurasian Economic Union, as...
03 November 2015
The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus.
The national air carrier, Belavia, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk and Kyiv and negotiating with Kiev over the opening of new routes to Ukraine.
Belarus already has experience in...
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...
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...
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...
02 April 2015
Belarus Engages with the US, Improves Ties with Europe and Post-Soviet Countries – Foreign Policy Digest
Belarusian diplomacy has been shifting the country's relations with the West into high gear seeking to capitalise on Belarus' newfound importance for regional stability.
"The Europeans … are ready to cooperate with us, including for the sake of security in Europe. We say to them that we're always open to [talking]", President Lukashenka claimed while...
01 November 2013
Over the last week state TV channel 1 reported on the top-level meetings of the member states of the Eurasian Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which recently took place in Minsk. Alexander Lukashenka urged Tbilisi to return to the CIS and participate in the integration processes in the post-Soviet space.
Belarusian state journalists also covered the forum...
01 August 2012
Alexander Lukashenka's high ratings in the post-Soviet space are far less publicised than his disapproval in the West. But the fact remains: the President of Belarus is rather popular in the former Soviet republics. He is liked for appearing to create law and order and for keeping the Russian subsidies flowing. For states like Moldova and Ukraine, Lukashenka’s approval is also a vote...
- 19 December 2010