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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?
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On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...
19 August 2015
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Russian Loans for Belarus: Postponing The Transition

On 28 July Belarus received a long-awaited loan from the Russian government worth $760 million. This was just in time to transfer the funds to the pockets of other borrowers - on the same day Belarus was due to...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

14 August 2015
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The Myth of Thriving Belarusian Agriculture

Agriculture was the fastest growing branch of the Belarusian economy in the first half of 2015. Many in Russia and other post-Soviet countries consider Belarus to be a model when it comes to maintaining a viable agricultural sector. But in...

5 August 2015
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Why Are Belarusian Economic Forecasts Constantly Inaccurate?

According to the official five-year Socio-Economic Development Programme For 2011-2015 the GDP was supposed to increase by 62-68 per cent by the end of 2015. In reality, the growth is likely to hit around 6...

29 July 2015
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Creeping Signs of the Approaching Crisis – Belarus Economy Digest

The first half of the year has shown clear evidence that the Belarusian economy needs better incentives to revive its industrial strengths. In July the authorities announced their plans to provide financial assistance to several "giants" of industry. However, this...

27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...

21 July 2015
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Why Belarus Struggles to Stop Subsidising Its Enterprises

This month, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance will issue bonds for $425.8 million to bail out Gomselmash (abbreviation for Homiel Rural Machine Building), the most important industrial holding company of the second largest city in the country. The large...

10 July 2015
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Investment Climate in Belarus: Room for Growth

On 9 July General Motors and JV Unison signed an agreement to assemble Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Eskaleyd automobiles in the Minsk region. From the beginning of the year, several international fast food chains have announced a desire to open...

9 July 2015
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Myths of Chinese Engagement in Belarus: No Money Between Friends?

Last Thursday, Chinese workers in the Homel Province of Belarus broke out in a protest over wage arrears. The labour conflict went public and was yet another sign of growing Chinese activity in Belarus. The protest, unusual for Belarus,...

30 June 2015
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Collapsing Economy Weighs on the Authorities – Digest of Belarusian Economy

A labour strike at a major state-owned plant in June suggests that the current economic crisis will present serious political challenges to Belarus. Despite it being an election year, wages and pensions are not growing – a rare occurrence. Yet,...

27 May 2015
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Fears of Economic Turmoil, Banking Sector Problems – Belarus Economy Digest

According to the press release published by International Monetary Fund on 19 May the possible losses for the Belarusian economy in 2015 will amount 2.3 per cent of the GDP and $2bn of its foreign exchange reserves. The consequences of...

29 April 2015
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Belarusian Economy Creeping into Recession

The first quarter of 2015 displayed a number of distressing trends in Belarusian economy. The adjustment of the exchange rate has not secured the restoration of competitiveness. Furthermore, the government has to resort to conservative policies for mitigating structural weaknesses. The economy...

8 April 2015
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Belarus At War With Its “Social Parasites”

On 2 April, Alexander Lukashenka signed a decree against “social parasites”. From now on, individuals who do not pay taxes will lose be forced to submit around $240 annually into the the state’s coffers. This law is designed to help...

20 March 2015
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Belarusian Authorities Battle Street Vendors to Save the Textile Industry

On 17 March, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka paid a personal visit to a popular bazaar in Minsk, the capital, to resolve a conflict between the authorities and local street vendors. Earlier this month, a new government request was issued requiring...