29 September 2016
In the first six months of 2016, according to the Ministry of Interior 4,076 Chinese labour migrants entered Belarus. They now outnumber all other nationalities, including Ukrainians, who peaked at 3,334.
The Belarusian government maintains a firm grip on the labour market, and strictly regulates the number of work permits available to foreigners.
While Belarus attempts to re-...
28 September 2016
On 14-20 September 2016 the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted large-scale military drills.
Despite the fact that these military exercises were planned, they demonstrate a significant shift in security policy as Minsk increasingly takes into consideration possible risks and challenges from Russia.
It seems that the Belarusian Armed Forces are preparing for a possible Donbass-like...
27 September 2016
This month, the attention of the international media on Belarus largely focused on whether there would be any credible improvements in Belarusian electoral policy during the parliamentary elections.
Despite scepticism regarding how long the thaw between Belarus and the West could really last, Belarusian economic relations with Russia have been strained and confrontational. Meanwhile,...
23 September 2016
The results of the parliamentary elections on 11 September surprised many in Belarus. Few believed that Lukashenka’s regime would allow independent deputies in parliament, but these elections have shown that the Belarusian authorities are at least willing to appear to change.
Although this does provide optimism, Belarus and the West still need to create a new agenda to ensure that...
22 September 2016
Over the last month the Ostrogorski Centre primarily covered and analysed the 2016 parliamentary elections in Belarus. The centre organised live online coverage, published analytical and monitoring materials, took part in observation and commented on the electoral process for Belarusian and foreign media.
Besides the elections, analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre discussed military...
21 September 2016
The Belarusian elections concluded on 11 September. They were condemned as “not corresponding to a number of key international standards” and “not a credible reflection of the will of Belarusian citizens” by the domestic election-monitoring groups “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections (HRD)” and “Right to Choose-2016 (R2C)”....
20 September 2016
On 7 September 2016, Andrei Fomachkin from Belarus became famous for appearing with a Russian flag during the opening ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Upon his return to Minsk, the Russian media hailed Fomachkin, a bureaucrat from the Belarusian Ministry of Sport, as a hero.
The reaction of the Belarusian people, however, was more ambivalent. Over the past...
19 September 2016
On 7 September 2016 BEROC (Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center) held a seminar on private sector development in Belarus featuring presentations and debates from experts.
Peter Arushanyants, Director of the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Economy of Belarus, has asserted that the government will do its best to promote the development of entrepreneurship in...
16 September 2016
Belarus struggles to obtain favourable oil and gas prices and considers alternative suppliers, as it has in the past with Venezuela and Azerbaijan. Belarus will host a mission from the IAEA and hold stress tests to satisfy Lithuanian concerns regarding the safety of Astraviec NPP.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds a consultative council of the Belarusian diaspora, trying to engage...
15 September 2016
Speaking at a meeting of the Consultative Council for Belarusians Living Abroad on 5 September in Minsk, Belarus's foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought support from the Belarusian diaspora in preserving the country's “independence, sovereignty and statehood”.
This is a recent and noteworthy trend. Earlier, the government's interaction with Belarusians living...