Is the West investing a lot in the Belarusian opposition?
Published: 14 May 2011
The repressive climate in the country makes it nearly impossible for the Belarusian opposition to raise money in Belarus. As a result, the opposition depends upon external support.
The European Union, the United States and Poland have so far been the main supporters of civil society and opposition parties in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania host a number of Belarus-related organizations such as the Belsat television channel in Warsaw and the European Humanities University in Vilnius, which receives significant financial support from the West. It should also be noted that during election time in Belarus, Russia provides backing to some of the candidates.
However, the level of support for civil society in Belarus is low compared to that of its counterparts in other countries in the region. According to the US State Department, in 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance was $11.5M for Belarus. Moldova, which is two times smaller than Belarus, received $15.55M in 2009.