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Chernobyl-Style Economic Policy of Belarus
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The reaction of Belarus' President resembles the Soviet Union’s approach to the Chernobyl accident. At his press conference last Friday he repeated the old mantra: “No crash happened, we have everything under control, do not listen to foreign propaganda,...
15 June 2011
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Oiling the Unrest in Belarus

  Two months ago Alyaksandr Lukashenka ordered to find more oil deposits in Belarus. He was visibly upset that his country did not have enough of its own oil and had to depend on Russia. After all, oil revenues...

10 June 2011
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Loan from the IMF or Privatization by the Russians?

Belarus' economy needs external financing more then ever before. The government resists privatization but it will have to surrender soon, even if the International Monetary Fund decides to extend another loan.  Recently the Belarusian weekly Belorusski Rynok discussed the chances...

8 June 2011
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Automobile Rebellion in Belarus?

Yesterday, several hundred car drivers participated in a mass protest action called “Stop Gasoline” against the rising fuel prices in the Belarusian cities of Minsk, Homel, Brest and Mogilev. Following the call of the automobilist organization “Za-Avto”, drivers

7 June 2011
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What Can Belarus Sell?

Russia, through the Eurasian Economic Community, has agreed to grant Belarus a USD 3bn loan, of which Belarus will only see USD 800m this month. The Belarusian government will only get the remaining amount, in two portions over...

5 June 2011
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Russia Saved Lukashenka Yet Again

The weekend brought a pleasant surprise for the Belarusian leadership. It managed to get a big loan from the Eurasian Economic Community – a post-Soviet integration bloc dominated by Russia. This week, Lukashenka will be given...

1 June 2011
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The Agony of the Belarusian Economy

The currency exchange crisis persists in Belarus while the government is looking for ways to tackle it at a minimal political cost. Russia has declined to grant Belarus the much awaited loan of 1 bn. USD. The last hope is...

29 May 2011
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How Long Can the Belarus Ruler Last?

The unprecedentedly brutal court sentences against democratic activists who protested the falsification of elections in December have two goals.  It is widely believed that these people will be used as hostages used for future trade with the West.  However,...

28 May 2011
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Lukashenka’s Prisoners Dilemma

As the economic crisis deepens, Belarusian authorities have become increasingly worried about possible social unrest. There are good reasons for them to worry. Not only is the country in the midst of the worst economic crisis in its modern...

25 May 2011
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The Black Tuesday of the Belarusian Economy

This year's devaluation of Belarusian currency was the largest in the world for the past 20 years, according to the World Bank.  Independent media already called the day of official devaluation "the black Tuesday". However, Belarusian state media largely ignore...

22 May 2011
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Who Needs the Eastern Partnership?

While the European Union is yet again considering using sticks against the Belarus regime, it is unclear what carrots it can offer. Lukashenka's opponents often point to the de-facto exclusion of Belarus from the Eastern Partnership after the post-election...

21 May 2011
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Will the EU Countries Agree on a Common Reaction to the Political Situation in Belarus?

As the judgments against Belarusian opposition leaders and their campaigners have been delivered in Belarus during the last weeks, the reactions of the EU member states are less than concordant. While the EU considers including 13 more Belarusian officials to...

14 May 2011
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Is the Russian Ruble Coming to Belarus?

Establishing an ever more strict regime in Belarus after December 2010, Lukashenka so far faced no serious resistance. Numerous democratic activists fled abroad, many are incarcerated or awaiting trials, others are nearly paralyzed by police and security agencies surveillance...

14 May 2011
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Belarus Authorities Combat Economic Crises on the Ideological Front

The Belarus authorities seem to be combating the economic crises on two fronts. On the economic policy front, they promise modernization and reforms. On the ideological front, they initiated closing down two leading independent newspapers and instructed state media...

14 May 2011
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Will Inflation Deal the Final Blow to Current Government?

Yesterday the National Bank of Belarus allowed private banks to increase foreign currency exchange rates. Previously, all banks were limited by a very low ceiling. Now officially banks received full freedom to establish the rate. However, various sources suggest...