15 April 2016
Over the past month analysts discussed continuing rapprochement of Belarus with the West and potential Russia’s responses to it. Meanwhile, influenced by Russian propaganda, Belarusians favour Eurasian integration over European, although official Minsk finds its result unsatisfactory.
Belarusian opposition changes its strategy in relations with the authorities and plans to push...
13 April 2016
The Belarusian authorities are trying to debunk Russian accusations that it is making increasingly nationalist policies. The authorities are tightening legislation on extremism by introducing criminal liability for extremism and fighting in foreign conflicts.
The president has ordered all officials to drive only Belarusian-Chinese Geely cars. The state newspaper blames business...
08 April 2016
In recent weeks, Belarus managed to noticeably upgrade the level of its relations with EU countries. However, the ministerial-level meetings have been limited to Belarus’ long-time sympathisers in Europe (Hungary and Slovenia) as well as its closest neighbours (Poland).
The relations with the United States have maintained their positive dynamics but remained at the expert level....
06 April 2016
Alcohol sales are an important source of revenue for the Belarusian state, which holds a monopoly on its importation and production. In hard economic times, however, many Belarusians have turned to a cheaper alternative – samahon. Literally translated as “self-distilled”, samahon is a highly potent...
02 April 2016
Stallholders gather outside Tax Ministry's to demand abolition of new rules – no breakthrough though. Authorities suspend criminal case against former presidential candidate Alieś Michalievič.
Press Club Belarus holds official opening ceremony in Minsk. Decree 98 will not affect calls inside Skype and Viber. BISS and Press Club launch Analytical Club governed by Chatham House...
25 March 2016
Economic difficulties push Belarusian authorities to extraordinary ways of gathering revenues. They continue arrests of top businessmen, regardless of their position in Lukashenka's apparatus, on tax evasion charges, allegedly waiting for a big payoff.
In domestic politics, the authorities try to modernise Belarus' political system and raise the role of loyal political parties...
17 March 2016
In March Ostrogorski Centre (OC) analysts discussed a variety of issues in the fields of foreign policy, religion and migration. As the economic crisis unfolds in Belarus and Russia, many Belarusians will seek refuge in the west, where Poland is providing increasingly attractive conditions for migrants from the former USSR.
Sweden is changing its approach towards cooperation with...
17 March 2016
In the first half of March, the EU’s top human rights official came to Minsk to talk President Alexander Lukashenka into introducing a temporary moratorium on the death penalty.
The Belarusian authorities are very willing to discuss human rights with Europe but remain reluctant to take specific action.
At the UN, Belarusian diplomats continue to promote greater inclusion of...
16 March 2016
Over the last weeks Belarusian analysts widely discussed the removal of EU sanctions and possible scenarios of further rapprochement, as well as benefits for Belarus. The surveys demonstrate that Belarus citizens became worse off, yet they are not going to channel the falling incomes into mass protests.
Green activists reveal that funding of EU-Belarus projects remains barely...
11 March 2016
Playing East And West, Cooperation with Pakistan and Thailand, First Belarusian Billionaire – Western Press Digest
Western media focuses on the EU decision to abolish most sanctions and extend others, and accuses Belarus of playing “both sides” for advantage.
In other news: Belarusian missile site modernisation near NATO border, Lithuanian sentenced for spying for Belarus, lack of progress on human rights in Belarus, the success story of the Belarusian World of Tanks billionaire....
09 March 2016
The Belarusian authorities are putting all their energy into combating the deepening economic crisis.
They have released corrupt officials sentenced to prison terms and appointed them to manage bankrupt state enterprises. The government is seeking solutions to the problem of the growing black market for alcohol, which brings huge losses to a lucrative state-owned business.
04 March 2016
StudWatch initiative launches a #DanceForReforms flashmob. Viasna publishes a report on monitoring detention facilities in Belarus. 106 new NGOs were registered in 2015. Three Belarusian crowdfunding platforms collect nearly $140K of local funds in 2015. Belarus in Focus announces winners of its annual international journalism competition. Lawtrend presents infographics of 48 government...