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Belarus Hopes To Cash In On Russian Sanctions
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Earlier this month, Russia introduced a full embargo on imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the European Union (EU), United States, Australia, Canada and Norway. Moscow sought to retaliate for the sanctions imposed by the West following...
24 July 2014
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Foreign Exchange Reserves Increase, New Regulation of Microloans – Belarus Economy Digest

For the first time over the last six months, in June Belarus saw an increase in its foreign exchange reserves. This growth was due to the issuance of a bridge loan by Russian VTB Bank. At the same time, the overall...

9 July 2014
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Foreign Investment in Belarus: Mission Possible

Last week, the Ministry of Transport of Belarus and the Belavia national air carrier revealed that they have been negotiating with Boeing. Minsk is proposing to Boeing that it participates in the reconstruction of the Minsk aircraft repair plant and...

2 July 2014
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Output Grows, but Inflation Hurting Macroeconomic Stability – Digest of Belarusian Economy

The economy of Belarus is showing signs of rising levels of output with most industries increasing their overall output figures throughout May. At the same time foreign and domestic investment demand are exhibiting signs of recovery. However, this recovery...

25 June 2014
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Belarus Strengthens its Bargaining Position in the Eurasian Economic Union

Lukashenka's administration believes that Belarus' participation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) does not restrict its ability to balance its interests between Russia and the West. Despite Russia's position, Belarus continues to participate in the Eastern Partnership. Belarus has even recognised the...

24 June 2014
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Will Russia Buy Up Belarus’ Defence and Oil Industries in 2014?

At a press conference on 11 June, Russian ambassador to Belarus, Aleksandr Surikov, announced that Russia had agreed with Belarus to acquire three Belarusian military and high-tech large-scale industrial complexes. Belarus has always been very reluctant to sell of its state property for various reasons,...

10 June 2014
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Belarus Government to Establish Serfdom in Agriculture?

On 27 May Lukashenka announced several radical initiatives that would virtually introduce serfdom into the nation's state-run farms. Two weeks later it remains unclear how serious Lukashenka was but the authorities like to resort to drastic administrative policies to regulate the economy.   In 2012, the government introduced...

6 June 2014
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Eurasian Integration: Does Lukashenka Have a Choice?

Aliaksandr Lukashenka expressed his resentment over exemptions and restrictions in the Eurasian Economic Union treaty during a meeting with a chairman of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament on 5 May. However, Lukashenka had effectively no other choice as to agree on the...

30 May 2014
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Study Abroad for Belarusians: a One-Way Ticket?

Students across the world dream about studying abroad, and Belarusians are no exception. The Europe Day Education Fair, organised by the EU Delegation in Minsk on 22 May, gathered a large enthusiastic crowd. The fair attracted so much attention in part because international education remains...

23 May 2014
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A New Loan from Russia – A Temporary Lifejacket

The growth rate of inflation in the 1st quarter of 2014 amounted to 6.6% and made plans for reaching the official targets for annual inflation highly unlikely. Despite this, a gradual reduction in refinancing rates with a second round of cuts has been preserved. It was...

16 May 2014
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Belarusian Economic Reforms: An Irresolvable Paradox

Aliaksandr Lukashenka returned from Moscow with victorious news ahead of V-Day. He convinced his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to issue a new $1.5-2b loan and to agree on a stage-by-stage reduction of oil export duties...

8 May 2014
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Belarusian Science: Gerontocratic, Isolated, and Unproductive

At the end of March, Aleksander Lukashenka gathered the management of Belarus' scientific institutions and top government officials to discuss the problems of Belarusian science. The meeting revealed that much of what the National Academy of Sciences brands as its...

29 April 2014
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National Bank Reduces Refinancing Rate – Belarus Economy Digest

This April the National Bank decided to its reduce refinancing rate, which has remained unchanged for the past 10-months. This measure is, to some degree, a helping hand for the real sector that is facing significant difficulties at present. However, despite...

11 April 2014
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Belarusian-Chinese Relations: From Great Promise to Failure

In the near future Minsk and Beijing plan to sign the main contract for the China-Belarus Industrial Park. Once a project that used to hold great promise, now appears to be a failure. Lately, Belarusian-Chinese relations have gone through...

1 April 2014
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External Environment Poses New Risks for the Belarusian Economy

Economic performance during first two months of 2014 has been rather disappointing. First, almost all industries reduced their output which led to a decline in GDP by 1.6% year-on-year in January-February.  Second, Belarus has faced new challenges on foreign markets, which are a consequence of capital...