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The autumn of liberalisation – digest of the Belarusian economy
On 26 September 2017, Belarusian officials declared plans for the liberalisation of the economy by developing a new decree on freeing up Belarusian entrepreneurship. Moreover, on 28 September, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky announced the government’s intensions to encourage further growth of the IT-sector. The latest statistical figures on the development […]
3 October 2017
Belarus-Russian military exercises: the story still not over?

On 28 September, the last train filled with Russian troops that had participated in the West-2017 military exercises reportedly left Belarus. Some hours later, however, Commander–in–Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko disputed the news. He claimed only a few Russian military units had returned to their garrisons in Russia, and the rest of Russian troops had, […]

2 October 2017
Belarusian authorities increase pressure on anarchists

On 26 September, Belarusian secret services raided the apartments of several Belarusian anarchists and environmentalists. This became yet another case of repression against Belarusian anarchists in recent months. State authorities have been on alert since the outbreak of protests in 2017 against decree № 3, a presidential decree which levies an unemployment tax on Belarusian […]

29 September 2017
Zapad 2017: limits of Belarusian independence, national unity, western attention – digest of Belarusian analytics

In September, analytics on Belarus both at home and abroad almost entirely focused on Zapad 2017 military exercises and related issues of security and defence. Arciom Šrajbman claims that Russia showed Belarus the ceiling of its independence, Jaŭhien Prejhierman responds that rumours about these limits are exaggerated.  Andrej Jahoraŭ explains why Belarus was not occupied […]

28 September 2017
West 2017 in focus, London Conference on Belarusian Studies, human rights dialogue – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In August and September, Ostrogorski Centre analysts analysed developments around West 2017 military drill, progress in the Belarus-EU dialogue on human rights and increase in poverty in recent years as well as the government’s response to it. The Centre announced call for proposals The Third Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies, which will be held […]

27 September 2017
Belarusian teachers in search of the lost dignity of their craft

On 5 October, Belarus will celebrate World Teachers’ Day, established by UNESCO in 1994 to show appreciation for the teaching profession and to draw attention to the rights of educators worldwide. Yet in today’s Belarus, teachers have no space for creativity and initiative, falling victim to the whims of the school administration, local educational departments, […]

26 September 2017
Russia kidnaps a Ukrainian in Belarus undermining Belarus’s reputation

On 24 August 2017, Russian Federal Security Service agents kidnapped 19-year-old Ukrainian citizen Pavel Grib on the territory of Belarus. He is the son of a minor Orthodox Church official and army reserve officer, Igor Grib. Ukrainian society is actively discussing the event and is trying to draw attention to the ordeal of Pavel Grib, […]

25 September 2017
Is Belavezha Forest under threat from Poland?

Poland continues the mass logging of Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Belavezha Forest), one of the last reserves of primeval forest in Europe and a UNESCO heritage site. Despite a call from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to protect the forest, on 1 August Polish authorities stated they would continue to allow the cutting down of trees. […]

21 September 2017
War games, integration of integrations, EBRD investments – Belarus state press digest

Alexander Lukashenka states that the West 2017 drills proved successful and that attempts to discredit them were extremely unprofessional. According to the Belarusian MFA, a block mentality must become a thing of the past; the country refuses to make a choice between East and West. Belarus is about to become the largest potash producer in […]

20 September 2017
Trading favours with Georgia and Poland, boosting India trade – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The summer holidays took their toll on the pace of development of Belarus’s foreign relations. Over the last two months, foreign minister Vladimir Makei held only three meetings with his counterparts (from Slovenia, Egypt and Georgia). President Alexander Lukashenka’s state visit to India was late summer’s only highest-level diplomatic event. Some democratic governments are still […]

19 September 2017
Zapad on Belarus’s mind: 7th Belarus Reality Check Non-Paper

The European Union’s ‘critical engagement’ policy has contributed to attitude change by the Government of Belarus as well as procedural improvements. However, as the March 2017 crackdown on peaceful protesters suggests, there are no substantial political changes in Belarus. Some positive steps taken by Belarus in the recent past – release of the remaining political […]

13 September 2017
Viejšnoryja: the Belarusian Defence Ministry plays with fire

On 29 August in the Palace of the Republic, the Chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian Armed Forces and the First Deputy Minister of Defence, Major-General Alieh Bielakonieŭ, held a briefing on the Belarusian-Russian military exercises West-2017. The briefing and the official press-release caused an unexpected reaction in society. More than 50 media […]

8 September 2017
West-2017 smaller than NATO drills, loan from Russia, future of Minsk – Belarus state press digest

Belarusian military officials insist that Belarus has never accused anybody of aggression despite the fact that the West-2017 military drill will be smaller that that of NATO in Poland. Belarus sees a significant shift towards exports of raw materials over the past two decades, especially in trade with the EU. Russia receives interest from loans […]

7 September 2017
State debt and weak trade policy test Belarus recovery – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 5 September 2017, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka once again declared the need to accelerate the government’s efforts to improve legislation concerning economic embezzlement and other abuses that are slowing down the economic development of the country. Meanwhile, export are recovering briskly, although mostly due to goods based on raw materials. What’s more, the debt […]

5 September 2017
Is Belarus Willing to Help People with Disabilities?

On 15 June, Belarus ratified a National Plan for the protection of people with disabilities. The document is a big step for Belarus towards achieving a more compassionate society. Nevertheless, the conditions under which most people with disabilities in Belarus live remain difficult. NGOs and initiatives created by disabled people themselves are having greater success […]