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...
01 March 2016
Belarus continues to boost cooperation with western partners and is seeking to avoid excessive economic dependence on Russia.
MPs hope to receive special guest status at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) after the issue of the death penalty is resolved in Belarus.
Foreign minister Vladimir Makiej says that the current turbulence in the world has made the...
26 February 2016
The diplomatic exchange between Belarus and Europe got into full swing in February. Over a dozen visits took place within a few weeks either side of the European Union's decision to abrogate its sanctions. Greater involvement of “old Europe” in direct dialogue with Minsk is becoming a noteworthy trend.
Belarusian diplomacy scored a big victory by prompting the EU to lift...
24 February 2016
Belarus may be one of the least religious countries in the world, but Catholic believers are countering the general trend.
There are 619 Catholic parishes and about 1.4 million of self-identified Catholics in Belarus. Most regularly attend the Sunday mass and participate in colourful religious celebrations throughout the year.
Here are some of the scenes from the life of Belarus...
19 February 2016
In February Ostrogorski Centre (OC) analysts commented on the lifting of EU sanctions, Belarus' new military doctrine and the economic challenges the Belarusian government is facing amid the deepest crisis since 1990s.
As the repercussions of the continuing economic crisis become more obvious for both the authorities and the population, the struggle within the Belarusian leadership...
12 February 2016
Over the last weeks analysts covered a range of issues from corporate social responsibility to human rights. Belarus and Russia now undergo the period of cooling, the economy is deteriorating and the authorities are trying to implement reforms.
Belarus scores relatively well on corruption perception compared to Russia and Ukraine but still remains a not free country according to...
10 February 2016
Israel’s decision to close down its embassy in Minsk and the immediate response in kind by the Belarusian government are likely to undermine recent positive trends in bilateral relations between the two countries.
Belarus has meanwhile sought to develop relations with other countries in the region, including Israel’s known foes, Iran and Morocco. Despite the recent...