26 April 2013
Despite European protests against human rights violations, the European Union continues to render technical assistance to Belarus. In 2012-2013, Belarus can get more than € 55m in the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Eastern Partnership.
For Belarus, the EU is the largest potential development cooperation donor. Overall, since 1991 the...
22 April 2013
"Belarus aspires to the integration with the universal educational system preserving its achievements and traditions", – said the Deputy Minister of Education Alexander Zhuk on 3 April 2013. However, what he meant under "traditions" sometimes clearly contradicts the principles of education accepted elsewhere in Europe.
The system of manual control, absence of...
17 April 2013
On 12 April, Filip Kaczmarek, the chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, stated that the EU can make Schengen visas more available for ordinary Belarusians even now.
MEPs often say good things but unfortunately they have little real power to implement them.Unlike talks on the dialogue or the sanctions, visa relations of Belarus and...
12 April 2013
On 2 March, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies presented a report on geopolitical preferences of Belarusians. The media paid little attention to the document presented by an influential Belarusian think-tank, although the conclusions of this report could be important for Belarus.
Despite the crisis in Europe, the regime’s anti-European propaganda and the EU’s...
06 March 2013
On weekends, Vilnius looks like a Belarusian city.
Cars with Belarusian registration plates, crowds of Belarusians carrying shopping bags, even bus schedules to Belarus from big shopping centres. In 2012, according to the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism, 400,000 Belarusian guests visited Lithuania.
In politics, Lithuania maintains a critical position against Lukashenka...
21 January 2013
Alexander Lukashenka's annual press conferences involve more than just answering questions.
Being passionate and open, Alexander Lukashenka’s unprepared speech can be very entertaining. His press conference last week was no exception.
For most people in Belarus listening to the ruler’s press conferences is merely entertainment. Belarusians...
09 January 2013
Belarus assumed the presidency in the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) on 1 January 2013. This is the international organisation which was intended to replace the Soviet Union in 1991.
For politicians who formed their vision in the Soviet Union, the CIS remains a substitute of the former empire, although the organisation's existence serves little practical...
29 November 2012
On 26 November the only independent television channel Belsat broadcasting for Belarusians cut the broadcast and sent a significant number of its employees on leave. Earlier this year Belsat broadcasted for 17 hours a day. Today it is only six and a half hours.
An independent TV channel that broadcasts from Poland to Belarus failed to raise necessary funds to...
21 November 2012
On 16 November, Alexander Lukashenka appointed Valer Vakulchyk as Chairman of the KGB. Vakulchyk remains one of the least famous Belarusian security service officials and the Belarusian state leader trusts him a great deal.
A week earlier, on 9 November, Lukashenka discharged the previous KGB head, Vadzim Zaitsau, whom he suspected of being complicit in “betrayal of the state...
12 November 2012
In addition to sending their political opponents to prisons for years, Belarusian authorities make sure they get "special treatment" there. Today 12 political prisoners are serving sentences. Most of them remain incarcerated in disciplinary cells or stricter regimes. Last year Mikalaj Autukhovich even had to cut his wrists to make the prison administration stop provocations against...
31 October 2012
On 26 October, Belarus state television showed another criminal movie about independent Belarusian community. This time to prevent crimes Department of Financial Investigation staff members confiscated scholarly books written in Belarusian.
The authorities confiscated over 5,000 books from a former chief editor of Arche Valery Bulhakau. According to state TV-channel, these books are...
25 October 2012
On 28 October thousands of Belarusians are expected to visit Kurapaty to mark Dziady.
Dziady is a traditional day of remembrance of the deceased ancestors observed in Belarus. Kurapaty is the place on the outskirts of Minsk where the Bolshevists executed over 200,000 people in 1930s.
Dziady is more than a traditional holiday. It has also become...