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Lukashenka to sign ‘revolutionary’ IT regulation package
On 13 December, at the plenary session of the 2nd Congress of Belarusian scientists, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka promised to sign the decree ‘On the Development of Digital Economy’ before the New Year. The fathers of the decree call it revolutionary, because it includes a number of unprecedented measures to liberalise the way IT businesses […]
14 December 2017
Belarus’s immigration policy: perpetuating a demographic crisis?

On 8 November, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka met with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Lukashenka mentioned that the number of  Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Belarus since 2014 has reached 150,000. Over the past 20 years, the population of Belarus has decreased by more than 600,000 people. At a security […]

13 December 2017
Human Rights Award 2017, information security, Women and Elections – Belarus civil society digest

Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights Watch Docs goes to Minsk cinemas. Good Neighbor master class tells how to make a playground. MAKEOUT announce a contest for anti-discrimination stickers.  Human rights community delivers its award. Blakit online project visualises data on public procurement. SYMPA invites to masterclasses on effective local governance by a Polish mayor […]

12 December 2017
‘Mountains of rubbish visible from space’: waste management in Belarus

This October, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka complained about “mountains of rubbish in Belarus visible from space.” Noting a particular problem with the accumulation of rubbish in the capital, the president urged the development of new long-term approaches to waste management.  Annually, Belarus produces nearly 4 million tonnes of municipal solid waste alone. In 2016, it […]

11 December 2017
CIS leaders rating, new local politicians, gas price drop, labour migration – Belarus state press digest

Minsk approves the current pragmatic approach of the EU towards the Eastern Partnership. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka is the top rated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leader among Russians. The authorities expect new faces in politics after 2018 local election. The cost of Russian gas for Belarus will decrease in 2018. Chinese Midea Group is […]

8 December 2017
Anti-Vaxxers in Belarus: time for legal punishment?

On 30 November, the Belarusian Republican Centre for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health announced that 3.7 million Belarusian citizens had voluntary vaccinated themselves against flu. This number proves that Belarusians still generally trust their public health institutions despite a growing anti-vaccination sentiment in the blogosphere and social networks. At the same time, the Ministry of Health […]

7 December 2017
Minsk silently builds a new army

On 1 December, Minsk made public an agreement with Russia to supply a joint regional group of Belarusian and Russian troops. In return, Russia’s Defence Ministry has committed to providing Belarus with necessary equipment and arms in times of “increasing military threat to the Union state [of Belarus and Russia] and in times of war.” Meanwhile, […]

6 December 2017
Ineffective state-owned enterprises, improved business climate – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 November 2017, the official statistical body of Belarus, Belstat, announced that GDP growth for ten months of the year has reached a new high outscoring the previous month’s record. However, state-owned enterprises are still unable to significantly improve their cost-effectiveness, which delivers additional pain to their creditors threatening the banking stability of Belarus. […]

5 December 2017
Belarus at EaP summit 2017, peacekeepers in Ukraine, London conference, legal education – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In November, analysts from the Ostrogorski Centre gave reasons for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka not attending the Eastern Partnership summit, assessed growing international support for Belarusian peacekeepers in Ukraine, and outlined how geopolitics increase the heft of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus. The Ostrogorski Centre and the Faculty of Law of the Belarusian State […]

1 December 2017
Soft Belarusianisation, economic forum, reformists disappointed – digest of Belarusian analytics

Arciom Šrajbman explains why Lukashenka did not attend EaP summit in Brussels. Grigory Ioffe: The regime in Minsk has taken over some of the most important slogans and refrains of the opposition. Joerg Forbrig: I am not an “Architect of Revolutions” in Belarus. Jaŭhien Prejhierman sees modest progress in US-Belarus relations. Piotr Rudkoŭski: through soft […]

30 November 2017
Lukashenka and the Eastern Partnership: time not ripe for a summit

After a lengthy pause, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka declined the invitation of the European Union to lead his country’s delegation at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels. On 24 November, the day of the summit, he chose to visit a small provincial town in Belarus affirming that his foreign minister Vladimir Makei was perfectly capable […]

29 November 2017
Foreign spies in Belarus: reality and speculation

On 27 November, the Belarusian State Security Committee, otherwise known as the KGB, officially accused Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sharoiko of espionage. The Belarusian authorities claim that Sharoiko confessed to his guilt. Ukrainian state and security officials, on the other hand, acknowledge neither the alleged confession nor the accusation of espionage. Until now, the most notorious […]

28 November 2017
Decommunisation or erasing historical memory: Will Poland rename a street given to a Belarusian national hero?

Poland has entered a new stage of its decommunisation policy, which among other things aims to rename streets and avenues all over the country. Within the framework of this policy, some Polish historians have proposed renaming Branislaŭ Taraškievič Street in the town of Bielsk Podlaski. This may turn out to be an international scandal between […]

27 November 2017
The Belarusian arms business: new deals and old collisions

On 14 November, key Belarusian arms exporter Beltech Export signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Belarusian firm has agreed to maintain and modernise Emirati radars. This means that Minsk has successfully entered a new market, as it has never sold air defence-related products or services to Arab monarchies before. This news, […]

24 November 2017
Belarus launches new Geely plant and plans for electric cars

On 17 November, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka participated in the opening of the new BelGee automotive plant, which will produce Chinese Geely cars. The venture is the largest passenger car enterprise in Belarusian history. Lukashenka also announced a draft decree to create incentives for Belarusians to buy domestically manufactured cars. In August, local developers presented the […]