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Belarus’s plan to import Iranian and Azerbaijani oil: how serious is Minsk?
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On 3 April, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka succeeded in securing concessions from Vladimir Putin following a year-long oil and gas dispute between the two countries. In order to reach a deal, Minsk put the idea of buying oil from...
4 April 2017
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Macroeconomic stabilization on shaky ground – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 3 April 2017, Economy Minister Vladimir Zinovsky​ announced a negative forecast for first quarter GDP growth in Belarus. This comes despite an increase in industrial output and exports at the end of March. In this context, on 6 March...

28 February 2017
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Consumption in stand-by mode, investments and trade – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 20 February 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical agency, announced that the GDP has once again dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2016. However, on 21 February 2017, Prime Minister of Belarus Alexey...

3 February 2017
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Surviving year two of recession – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 3 January 2017, The Eurasian Development Bank​ announced that Belarus is the only economy among CIS countries with a forecasted GDP decline in 2017. Meantime, the biggest problem of 2016 remains unresolved – on 28 January 2017, the Deputy...

30 January 2017
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Belarus pursues ‘social parasites’ at home and abroad

Since late 2016, Belarusian tax authorities have started sending out notifications to all unemployed Belarusians forcing them to reimburse the government for 'state expenditures.' In other words, the Belarusian state automatically assumes that all people not reported as working are...

27 January 2017
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What’s behind Lukashenka’s visit to Egypt and Sudan

On 15 January Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka set off for official visits to Egypt and Sudan, where he conducted negotiations with the leaders of the two countries. Belarus is trying to broaden its economic relations with developing countries. However, its...

13 January 2017
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Does Belarus stand a chance in a new oil war with Russia?

The year 2016 left Belarus with a serious economic problem: its unresolved dispute with Russia over energy. On 9 January 2017, the Russian daily Kommersant revealed that Moscow will reduce oil supplies to Belarus from 4.5 to 4m tonnes in...

9 January 2017
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Investing in Belarus: a story of Lithuanian businessmen

While the governments of Belarus and Lithuania continue to clash over the construction of the Astraviec nuclear power plant, Lithuanian investors in Belarus are continuing to operate normally. Lithuanian businessmen became the largest Western investors in Belarus, adding more...

3 January 2017
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Under pressure from Eurasian Economic Integration – digest of the Belarusian economy

As of 26 December 2016, the oil and gas dispute between Belarus and Russia remains unresolved. Moreover, Russia persistently rejects any tradeoffs: this deprives Belarus of a substantial part its foreign exchange earnings from petroleum product sales, thus aggravating the...

1 December 2016
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Oil pessimism and manufacturing optimism – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 26 November Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko announced that the recession in the Belarusian manufacturing sector has ended. However, Belarusian banks strongly disagree with this statement. They yearn for more financially stable corporate borrowers, especially in the industrial...

15 November 2016
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How Belarusian oil imports change geopolitics in Eastern Europe

On 31 October, several years after imports of non-Russian oil into Belarus ceased, the first cargo train carrying Azerbaijani oil reached a refinery in the Belarusian city of Mazyr. Although the Belarusian government has so far imported only a limited...

2 November 2016
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Autumn of tough economic decisions – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 October 2016, new macroeconomic data from Belstat, Belarus's national statistical committee, indicated that this year's economic decline seems to have finally halted. The GDP stopped falling and foreign trade saw a slight revival. However, on 21 September the...

1 November 2016
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Foreign direct investments in Belarus: many words but few actions

The autumn of 2016 has seen many plans to boost investment in Belarus. On 17 September Minsk hosted the first Belarus-Oman business forum, while on 29-30 September the Belarusian capital hosted the Belarusian Forum: "Broadening Horizons. Investment. Finance. Development". Moreover,...

7 October 2016
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Money talks? Belarus’s quest for cash from the West

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, Belarus’s Foreign Minister, Uladzimir Makiej, criticised the imposition of “alien” political and economic models on his and other countries. He said that weaker states were given a choice: either they accept...

3 October 2016
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Russian oil blackout – digest of Belarus economy

On 14 September 2016 First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashka announced that negotiations on oil and gas relations between the Belarusian authorities and Russia's main economic players had failed. Meanwhile, the oil crisis has cast further uncertainty on...