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RFE/RL: Former Belarusian Leader Marks 75th Birthday In United States
RFE/RL: Former Belarusian Leader Marks 75th Birthday In United States
Stanislaŭ Šuškievič, the first leader of independent Belarus between 1991 and 1994, one of the men who gave Belarus its independence renewed after over 70 years of Soviet occupation, is now not even getting a decent pension paid from the Belarusian state because of being in opposition to president Aliaksandr Lukašenka.
11 December 2009
Taiwan News: Investigative journalist in Belarus faces threats
Taiwan News: Investigative journalist in Belarus faces threats

T he article by Iryna Chalip (Irina Khalip) gave a freezy reminder of late 1990s when Belarusian opposition politicians have been abducted and presumably killed.

7 December 2009
FT Brussels Blog: Berlusconi, a planetary man of politics, visits Belarus
FT Brussels Blog: Berlusconi, a planetary man of politics, visits Belarus

Business interests and personal sympathy to Alexander Lukashenka have been called by Belarusian analysts the reason for Berlusconi's friendliness and itself the fact of his short visit to Belarus. Anyway, it was truly a historical event that passed unnoticed: the previous time Belarus has been visited by a leader of a G8 country (except Russia) was Bill Clinton's visit in 1994. It's been fifteen years since then.

7 December 2009
A Belarusian Music Producer About Doing Show Business in Belarus
A Belarusian Music Producer About Doing Show Business in Belarus

A little insight on how show business is done in Belarus. For rock and indie music the conditions are quite hard in Belarus, where there is no developed market and infrastructure and where the radio stations are under state-pressure and self-censorship. Despite that, modern bands keep existing and appearing in Belarus just as in any neighbouring country and often become recognized abroad. Sadly, sometimes they get better recognition overseas than in Belarus.

4 December 2009
BBC on The Ethics of Big Western Business in Belarus
BBC on The Ethics of Big Western Business in Belarus

BBC World service interviewed Lesley Curwen, manager of one of the world's leading steel trading companies which recently invested in Belarus. Referring to Belarus as "Byelorussia", which is painful to hear for most Belarusians, he says that he does not feel that they work in a dictatorial country. At least at this point, Mr. Curwen is very positive about his experience in Belarus. It remains to be seen how long this will last.

2 December 2009
Naša Niva: To Study, Study and Again Study Capitalism

1 December 2009
German Marshall Fund of the United States Blogs on Belarus
German Marshall Fund of the United States Blogs on Belarus

Appeasement in our time -- Berlusconi goes to Belarus by Joerg Forbrig BERLIN -- This year has been full of celebrations of the peaceful revolutions of 1989, arguably the most important advance of freedom, democracy, and human rights in history. But this year has also seen rapid European rapprochement with (and some might say appeasement of) one of the world’s worst autocrats: Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus. Europe’s embrace reached a new level Monday when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi paid an official visit to Minsk, the first by a Western head of government in over a decade. Belarus, Europe’s immediate neighbor to the East, has been ruled by Lukashenko since 1994. For one-and-a-half decades, a fully fledged dictatorship replaced whatever modest democratization had taken place in the early 1990s. An omnipotent presidential administration controls all aspects of life in the country, from mass media that are almost completely under state control to an economy that remains centrally steered and nationalized. A vast police apparatus, including a KGB, instills Belarusians with fear and apathy, while dissidents and civic activists face harassment, beatings, fines, and prison sentences. Several prominent opposition leaders have disappeared without a trace. Elections are rigged, as the OSCE has repeatedly declared. Lukashenko, meanwhile, has abolished presidential term limits and can effectively rule for life.

28 November 2009
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Ці пойдзе дзяржава насустрач беларусам замежжа?

Нацыянальны цэнтр заканадаўства і прававых даследаванняў пры Адміністрацыі прэзідэнта Рэспублікі Беларусь узнаўляе працу па распрацоўцы праекта закона «Аб беларусах замежжа». Нацыянальны цэнтр заканадаўства і прававых даследаванняў пры Адміністрацыі прэзідэнта Рэспублікі Беларусь узнаўляе працу па распрацоўцы праекта закона «Аб беларусах замежжа».

27 November 2009
Financial Times: Soviet model may face trouble despite weathering the crisis
Financial Times: Soviet model may face trouble despite weathering the crisis

The Financial Times have this week published several stories on Belarus by its Eastern European corespondent Jan Cienski. Both of them seem rather to be stating the obvious but are very useful to get a snapshot impression of the current state of Belarusian economy and foreign policy. The coutry feeling symptoms of the economic crisis and, being unable to get Russian sponsorship any more, therefore trying to maneuver between the EU and Russia.

25 November 2009
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NATO: Russia and Belarus military exercise hasn’t contributed to building up confidence

The concerns in the West are not just about the size the Russian-Belarusian exercise, but by the fact that foreign observers hadn’t been invited to observe them. NATO spokesperson James Appathurai notes that the military exercise Zapad-2009 (West-2009) can harm relations between Russia and the NATO.

23 November 2009
The Times: Hugo Chávez defends the ‘bad guys’ of the world

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez tightens bonds with US foes: from Castro to Lukashenka, the influential British newspaper The Times states. Hugo Chávez defends the ‘bad guys’ of the world By Hannah Strange Published: November 23, 2009

21 November 2009
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IMF Approves of Belarus’ Economic Policy

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission competed its third review of the country’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in Minsk on Nov. 10-19. The mission scrutinized the implementation of the economic program tied to IMF’s loan to Belarus. Chief of IMF mission in Belarus Chris Jarvis concluded the country’s performance has been good and IMF benchmarks and criteria have been met. Upon the review by the IMF Executive Board in late- December, Belarus will receive an amount of US$700 million.   Jarvis said “monetary policy would continue to support the credibility of the exchange rate regime” and “prudent fiscal and monetary policies would narrow the current account deficit and bring inflation to single digits.” The IMF experts also discussed “the issues that would strengthen the financial system and the independence” of the National Bank of Belarus. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission competed its third review of the country’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in Minsk on Nov. 10-19. The mission scrutinized the implementation of the economic program tied to IMF’s loan to Belarus. Chief of IMF mission in Belarus Chris Jarvis concluded the country’s performance has been good and IMF benchmarks and criteria have been met. Upon the review by the IMF Executive Board in late- December, Belarus will receive an amount of US$700 million.   Jarvis said “monetary policy would continue to support the credibility of the exchange rate regime” and “prudent fiscal and monetary policies would narrow the current account deficit and bring inflation to single digits.” The IMF experts also discussed “the issues that would strengthen the financial system and the independence” of the National Bank of Belarus.

20 November 2009
Art Against Dictatorship Exhibition and Opening Ceremony

6:30 p.m., November 23, Monday Rayburn House Office Building, U.S. Congress Independence Ave. and South Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20003

19 November 2009
ЗША падоўжылі змякчэнне санкцый супраць двух прадпрыемстваў «Белнафтахіма»

Мінфін ЗША у чарговы раз падоўжыў рашэнне пра змякчэнне санкцый супраць двух беларускіх прадпрыемстваў канцэрна «Белнафтахім» – ААТ «Лакафарба» і «Полацк-Шкловалакно». Як паведамляе афіцыйны сайт Мінфіна, рашэнне падоўжана па 31 траўня 2010 года.

17 November 2009
Transparency International: Беларусь зноў прызнаная карумпаванай краінай

Усясьветная грамадзкая арганізацыя Transparency International апублікавала штогадовы рэйтынг карумпаванасьці краінаў. Паводле яго, Беларусь прызнаная краінай з высокай ступеньню карумпаванасьці.