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A snubbed Makei and an axis of good – Belarus foreign policy digest
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Belarus’s recent regression in the human rights field has failed to visibly affect the intensity of its contacts with Europe. However, European governments seem to have taken note of the criticism they received for their initially meek reaction and...
29 March 2017
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Has Makei cast a spell on Western diplomats?

Ever since it released important political prisoners in August 2015, the Belarusian government has rarely resorted to outright violence against dissidents. This paradigm shift facilitated the removal or suspension of most Western sanctions against Belarus. The parties were able...

27 March 2017
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Editorial: responding to violence in Belarus

Following the violent suppression of peaceful political protests in Belarus, many policy-makers Western capitals are at a loss. Should they re-impose sanctions? Ignore human rights violations for geopolitical concerns? To resolve this quagmire, it is important to understand why the...

10 March 2017
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Schengen visa facilitation: jeopardised by fear of migrants?

Recent statements by Belarusian officials have confirmed that the country's citizens should not expect a more liberal visa regime with Europe in the foreseeable future. Belarus's decision to introduce a conditional visa-free regime for nationals of eighty countries, many...

12 September 2016
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Editorial: Lukashenka’s election message to the West

Two representatives of the opposition and civil society will end up in the newly-appointed Belarusian Parliament. This reflects not the true level of support of the opposition, but rather Aleksander Lukashenka’s willingness to demonstrate good will to the European Union....

16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

12 July 2016
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John Silver: A New Political Prisoner in Belarus?

In June the Investigatory Committee of Belarus confirmed that Eduard Paĺčys, the editor of the website 1863x.com, was extradited from Russia and is undergoing criminal investigation. The website was known for its critical position towards Russian and Belarusian authorities, and...

7 July 2016
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Elections in Belarus: The Continuation of a New Model?

The parliamentary election campaign has begun in Belarus. There was little protest during the 2015 presidential elections. Elections are not elections as such, but became more a self-appointment of Lukashenka through an electoral façade. Yet the elections were peaceful and...

26 May 2016
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Belarus-EU Relations: Reaching the Limit?

Recently Belarus was considered a relative success story of the Eastern Partnership – no territorial disputes, no broken promises, only gradual positive dynamic in relations with the European Union (EU). However, the intensity of Belarus-EU cooperation seems to have reached...

23 May 2016
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EU and Belarus: All Politics to Be Gradual

After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement. Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this...