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New repressions in Belarus: The art of staying below western radars
On 14 October, a squad of masked riot policemen raided an antifascist concert in Minsk, detaining dozens of people, and reportedly beating some of them. This incident, among several others, demonstrated a relatively new trend in Belarusian domestic politics....
13 October 2017
Breakout from isolation? What to expect from Lukashenka’s visit to Brussels

On 9 October, Belarusian media reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka received an invitation to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels. The development demonstrates a new high in the pragmatisation of EU policy towards Minsk. A formal end...

5 October 2017
Is the United Kingdom finally interested in Belarus?

The United Kingdom has virtually overlooked Belarus since the latter regained its independence over twenty five years ago. London largely remained a strong proponent of a hard-line approach towards Lukashenka’s regime. The UK has avoided talking to the authorities...

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...

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...

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....

18 August 2017
Human rights in Belarus: can dialogue work?

This July, the European Union and Belarus held their 4th round of bilateral dialogue on human rights in Brussels. The parties focused on civil, political, and social rights in both Belarus and Europe. Belarus hopes to put human rights...

10 August 2017
Why do the authorities persecute independent trade unions?

On 2 August, the Department of Financial Investigations detained the leaders of the Radio Electronic Industry Trade Union, filing a criminal case on tax evasion charges. The few independent trade unions which have survived decades of restrictive policies in...

1 August 2017
The Belarusian authorities learn to appreciate their country’s statehood

On 1 July, on the eve of the official Independence day, Alexander Lukashenka highlighted a relation of Belarusians to the Great Duchy of Lithuania. It became the first statement of officials that identifies Belarusians with an independent...

31 July 2017
Belarusians of the world: “In solidarity we trust”

On 15 – 16 July 2017, Minsk hosted the VII Congress of the Belarusians of the World, gathering over 300 participants. This year's event was remarkably diverse, featuring Belarusian foreign minister Uladzimir Makei and even the former detainees...

27 July 2017
Belarus and Ukraine cooperate in the face of Russian pressure

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka travelled to Kyiv on an official visit on 20-21 July. Both Belarus and Ukraine, for different reasons, are seeking to reinvigorate direct dialogue between their leaders, which they resumed three months ago in the Chernobyl...

26 July 2017
Minsk process promoted, engaging the diaspora, export growth – Belarus state press digest

The Belarusian state press promotes the new Helsinki process initiated on Minsk's initiative and reports on the numerous foreign policy achievements of the country. The government attempts to engage the Belarusian Diaspora worldwide to realise its goals. Belarusian exports demonstrate...

25 July 2017
Belarus finally reaps tangible benefits from its neutrality policy

On 18-19 July, Belarus officially welcomed a delegation of European parliament, and Latvian foreign minister, who made rather positive statements on Minsk's policies. These developments continued the process of Belarus' rapprochement with the EU and other Western structures. A milestone...

21 July 2017
Are Relations With Europe Back to Normal? – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
Are Relations With Europe Back to Normal? – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The Belarusian government’s crackdown on peaceful protests in early spring failed to markedly affect its contacts with the West. In June-July, the intensity of Belarus’s diplomatic dialogue with Europe was probably at its highest point in the last several years....

17 July 2017
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals

Every year on 3 July in Minsk, Belarus traditionally conducts a military parade devoted to the official Independence Day. This year, however, the military parade triggered widespread discussions in the media. Just before the most recent parade, more than 9,000...