25 May 2016
Over the last few weeks analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre focused on the treatment of the Chernobyl issue in Belarus' foreign and domestic policies, as 26 April marked the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
They discussed the recent Freedom House report on media freedom worldwide arguing that it wrongly ranked Belarus too low and showed how Belarus' defence industry...
18 May 2016
Western media focused heavily this month on the current state of Belarus’ economy and financial market. In addition, the anticipated removal of Canadian sanctions might serve as a stepping-stone for other Western nations to re-evaluate their current sanctions against Belarus.
In other news: the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Belarus has caused controversy across the...
11 May 2016
On the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster government officials are trying to dispel some common Chernobyl myths circulating in Belarusian society.
The authorities are preparing for the All-Belarusian Assembly in June – an event that aims to add legitimacy to various political initiatives.
Belarus is working on the abolition of energy subsidies and is calculating the...
05 May 2016
In April, Belarus and Europe continued re-establishing contact at different levels. Belarus welcomed the Bulgarian foreign minister and senior diplomats from Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the institutional level, Minsk and Brussels inaugurated their new dialogue format, the Coordination Group.
Belarus’ economic interests prompted the government to call for stronger...
22 April 2016
In April analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre focused on Belarus’ continuing attempts to establish relations with a variety of external actors while further formalising its relations with Russia.
By signing the agreement on the Single Air Defence System with Russia, Belarus is not deepening military integration but rather formalising the opaque military structures that have existed...
19 April 2016
Fastest crowdfunding campaign ever has collected money for an athlete and rock band singer Vitaĺ Hurkoŭ. Online registration on the 6th International Congress of Belarusian Studies is now open.
Svetlana Alexievich held its first public presentation in the very heart of Minsk - the Palace of Republic. A public campaign In Defense of Belarusian Swamps achieved the adoption of the Strategy...
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...