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The Ukraine Crisis Will Turn Minsk Into a Regional Airline Hub?
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The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus. The national air carrier, Belavia​, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk...
30 September 2015
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Belarusian Economy A Month Before the Elections – Digest of the Belarusian Economy

In the last month before the Presidential elections, the Belarusian economy continues to disappoint. Although decline in GDP has slowed, the -3.5 per cent growth has failed to impress. The Belarusian rouble continues to depreciate as oil prices plunge. The...

23 September 2015
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Belarusian Milk Exports: Success in the East, Failure in the West

On 17 September, Alexander Lukashenka publicly explained to Vladimir Putin the process of milk production and to Nursultan Nazarbayev the functioning of the market economy. In this way the Belarusian state leader responded to critics who have questioned the...

14 September 2015
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China as An Epic Failure of Belarusian Foreign Policy

On Friday, President Lukashenka announced that the promised Chinese loan of $7billion would help Belarus cope with the current crisis. A week before this announcement, he had gone to China for his eighth visit to Beijing. Is Belarus succeeding in...

8 September 2015
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The Economy Gets Used to Sustained Recession – Belarus Economy Digest

The Belarusian economy keeps on contracting: in January-July it decreased by 4 per cent. However, a number of positive trends have arisen: wages and employment are stabilising, along with improvements in current account balances. The latter might signal an imminent...

3 September 2015
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Belarusian Roads: Good Quality, Bad Service

At the end of July the Minister of Transport Anatol Sivak reported to Lukashenka on important road projects in Belarus, including a second ring road around Minsk and a road toll system. Belarusian roads have became a brand in post-Soviet...

24 August 2015
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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

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...

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...

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...