Christine Muttonen and Alexander Lukashenka. Photo: president.gov.by
The Belarusian government’s crackdown on peaceful protests in early spring failed to markedly affect its contacts with the West. In June-July, the intensity of Belarus’s diplomatic dialogue with Europe was probably at its highest point in the last several years. However, Western leaders are still in no hurry to negotiate directly with President Lukashenka. The authorities took advantage of the high-level meetings of the CEI and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk to promote their vision of Belarus as a responsible international player and regional mediator. It remains to be seen whether this strategy will discourage the West from focusing on issues of democracy.
The Belarusian government’s crackdown on peaceful protests in early spring failed to markedly affect its contacts with the West.
In June-July, the intensity of Belarus’s diplomatic dialogue with Europe was probably at its highest point in the last several years. However, Western leaders are still in no hurry to negotiate directly with President Lukashenka.
The authorities took advantage of the high-level meetings of the CEI and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk to promote their vision of Belarus as a responsible international player and regional mediator. It remains to be seen whether this strategy will discourage the West from focusing on issues of democracy.
18 July 2017
Alexievich’s third try, think tanks' life, the Central European Initiative - digest of Belarusian analytics
CET releases analysis of the sector of Belarusian human rights organisations. Arseni Sivitsky dissects reasons for Belarus’ heavy rearmament with Russian help. Grigory Ioffe analyzes Svetlana Aleksievich’s public speaking. Economist Irina Tochitskaya: Belarus falls in a slow growth trap. Belarus in Focus: Minsk steps back to international and public pressure over the White Legion...
08 July 2017
Anti-corruption party, ECLAB enrolment, White Legion released, Social Business Forum - Belarus civil society digest
SYMPA/BIPART invite to an anti-corruption party. ECLAB opens student enrolment for the 2017-2018 academic year. First Social Business Forum takes place in Belarus.
Civil Society Parallel Forum is held in Minsk ahead of the 26 annual OSCE PA session. Human rights defender becomes member of the government’s penitentiary system monitoring commission.
New gender project helps...
05 July 2017
Belarus's international presence, official ideology, Eurobonds, and Geely cars – Belarus state press digest
Belarus hopes to expand its international presence when it presides over the Central European Initiative and hosts the summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly this summer.
In an Independence Day speech on 3 July, Lukashenka alluded to prominent cultural figures and mediaeval Belarusian polities as important elements of Belarusian statehood. This marks a shift from the usual...
30 June 2017
Kupallie (Midsummer) is an ancient pagan festival which marks the summer solstice – the longest day and shortest night. This holiday is one of the four most important in the pagan calendar.
When the Slavs were converted to Christianity, the Church designated the day as the feast of John the Baptist in order to destroy the holiday’s pagan roots. However, nearly 1,000 years of...
29 June 2017
This June the Ostrogorski Centre launched the Ostrogorski Academy – a nonprofit educational project dedicated to disseminating knowledge of the humanities. The academy is the first Belarusian entirely online 'university’, based on a series of lectures, tests, podcasts on important and engaging topics.
Ostrogorski Centre analysts discussed how Belarus's neighbours...
27 June 2017
Belarus-Russia-EU triangle, Belarusian Yearbook 2016, Population 50+, corruption survey - digest of Belarusian analytics
Eugene Rumor, Carnegie Endowment, argues that post-2014 Belarus is a less reliable satellite for Russia and the West should calibrate its policy accordingly. Grigory Ioffe breaks down recent harsh statements by Dalia Grybauskaitė and Svetlana Aleksievich.
OSW: energy dispute between Minsk and Moscow is not completely resolved. Yauheni Preiherman believes that Belarus’ foreign...
21 June 2017
Greenmap Belarus wins a UN competition. 3rd Urban Picnic in Mahilioŭ gathers over 6,000 citizens. A new initiative makes Minsk as green as possible.
EESC organises 10th annual United Students of Belarus Rally. BEROC opens enrolment to the 7th Student School in Economics.
KGB drops criminal charges in the preparation for mass riots case against Young Front...
16 June 2017
Many in Belarus took the recent discovery of new oil fields in the country as a joke: president Alexander Lukashenka had demanded earlier that the government start searching for its own black gold. According to experts, however, these deposits were already known.
It was only the complexity of extraction that had prevented the mining of these deposits before. However, officials now claim...
09 June 2017
On 2 June, at a governmental meeting on oil industry problems, Alexander Lukashenka blamed managers and the government for lacking an adequate development strategy for the industry. The Belarusian oil industry showed negative results in 2016.
Belarus and Russia decided against the idea of a unified visa in favour of mutual visa recognition. Belarus should fear the informational war...
08 June 2017
In May, Minsk continued its policy of following in Moscow’s footsteps by exploiting World War II for political purposes. On Victory Day, Belarusian diplomats made statements about alleged ‘attempts to falsify history’. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei invited diplomats posted in Minsk to a controversial historical site featuring a monument to Joseph Stalin.
31 May 2017
In May 2017, analysts at the Ostrogorski Centre discussed why the authorities continue to arrest Belarus's top businessmen, who benefits from the alcoholisation of Belarus, and how Belarus can maintain security cooperation with both Russia and the West.
The Centre is preparing a conference entitled 'Belarus in the new environment: challenges to foreign policy, security, and...
24 May 2017
On 20-22 May, Minsk hosted Milex 2017, its eighth exhibition of arms and military equipment. This year, the exhibition hosted more than 140 official guests from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, China, and Kazakhstan.
Military officials from more than 27 countries were in attendance. However, the exhibition's results remain somewhat mysterious. Manufacturers have repeatedly stated that they...