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Lukashenka in the Russian Hands
The worst nightmare of the Belarusian regime is a serious confrontation with Russia and the West at the same time if both parties agreed to the removal of Lukashenka. Of course, this scenario is hard to imagine but it...
11 April 2011
Belarus: Sanctions Seem to Work

Facing the threat of serious economic sanctions and a financial crisis, the Belarusian regime last week changed its approach to political prisoners. The state’s prosecution has started to soften its charges and, therefore, possible punishments, for several political prisoners. On...

10 April 2011
Belarus Economy: In a Queue for US Dollars

International rating institutions responded immediately to the rapid contraction of foreign exchange reserves and shortages of foreign currency in Belarus. Moody’s downgraded the Belarus sovereign foreign currency credit rating from B1 to B2, Standard & Poors – from B+...

1 April 2011
Mistreatment of Opposition Activists and Economic Problems in the Focus of Belarus Press

Mistreatment of political prisoners was the primary focus of non-governmental media in Belarus over the last week. Two former political prisoners of the Belarusian KGB fled Belarus following their release on condition that they would not leave the country....

31 March 2011
Is Belarus on the Brink of Financial Collapse?

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has recently started devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. Foreign currency is now officially allowed to be traded at an exchange rate that is deviating as much as 10 percent from the...

26 March 2011
What Drives China-Belarus Relations

As Europe’s “last authoritarian state”, Belarus is often portrayed as a divisive force: in Moscow sit its supporters, in Washington and Brussels – its detractors. This dichotomy tends to gloss over the multi-faceted nature of Minsk’s foreign relations. One...

24 March 2011
Belarus First Nuclear Plant: High Costs and Low Benefits

As Japan is dealing with radiation leaks and Germany is shuting down its nuclear plants, Belarus committed to build its own nuclear plant. Belarus has a special and tragic relationship with nuclear power. In 1986 most of the fallout...

18 March 2011
Belarus and the Middle East: What They Share and How They Differ
Belarus and the Middle East: What They Share and How They Differ

The current plight of the long-standing authoritarian regimes in the Middle East is raising new questions about the fate of the regime in Belarus. The wave of democratisation that had...

14 March 2011
Bitter Results of Belarusian ‘Authoritarian Modernization’
Bitter Results of Belarusian ‘Authoritarian Modernization’

Last year, the total foreign debt of Belarus increased by $6,452 mln or 29,2%. By January 1, it amounted to $28,512 mln, or 52,2% of the national GDP. According...

10 March 2011
Belarus Economy after Elections
Belarus Economy after Elections

The recent presidential elections were too costly for the Belarus government. Alexander Lukashenka managed to remain in his seat but at a far higher price for his reputation...

2 March 2011
Belarus Arms Trade: an Autocrat in Need is an Asset Indeed

The waves of revolutions rolling across the Middle East have taught the Belarusian regime an important lesson. Helping fellow dictators in need – even in faraway African countries – pays off in the long run. Democratic dominoes do fall,...

22 February 2011
Towards Authoritarian Capitalism in Belarus?

Despite the dark clouds of political repressions Western businesses still express interest in doing business in Belarus. Recent evidence of that is an event in Minsk organized by the Ministry of Economics called “Belarus Capital Markets Day”. Apparently, Belarus...

15 February 2011
Why Belarus is not Egypt

Many are wondering these days – why demonstrations in Belarus two months ago were not as massive in Egypt and have not led to political changes. Belarus is not Egypt in many important respects, but this does not necessarily...

14 February 2011
Europe’s Belarus Policy: The Need to Go Beyond Sanctions

The last week’s decision to go on with the Eastern Partnership’s EURONEST parliamentary assembly without Belarus again highlighted disagreements in the EU about how to deal with the deviant Eastern neighbour. The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly is the parliamentary component...

7 February 2011
How to Prevent Africanization of Foreign Aid to Belarus
How to Prevent Africanization of Foreign Aid to Belarus

As the Belarus civil society receives pledges of financial support from international community, the issue of how to...