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Candidates for 2015 Presidential Elections: Who Are They?
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On 20 July the Central Election Committee of Belarus registered eight initiative groups which nominate candidates for the presidency. Except Lukashenka himself, two candidates can be regarded as pro-government, three as oppositional and the other two as neutral and...
4 August 2015
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What Makes the 2015 Belarus Presidential Campaign So Different?

Each and every election in Belarus follows a straightforward pattern: limit the rights of the opposition, control the vote-counting process and, later, announce the predetermined winner. However, the 2015 campaign will differ from previous ones in a number of...

31 July 2015
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Belarus in US Congress: Economic Interests or Concerns about Human Rights?

On July 17, 2015, Representative Steve Pearce of New Mexico proposed a bill imposing sanctions on JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest potash miners. Titled "Belarus Democracy and Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015", the bill emphasises human rights violations...

31 July 2015
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Belarus-EU Thaw: Will It Last This Time?

On 13 July, the Council of the European Union once again removed restrictions against several Belarusian officials and entities subjected to an EU-wide travel ban and asset freeze. That decision amended Belarus sanctions listings introduced after the failure of Belarus...

28 July 2015
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Belarus Discovers Its Eurasian Side

In July, Belarus launched a diplomatic offensive to build ties with regional superpowers like China, India and Brazil seeking to counterbalance the much-publicised overtures its has been making to the West. The BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, provided Lukashenka with...

24 July 2015
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Will an Economic Downturn Cause Unrest Ahead of Elections?

On 2 July Belarus witnessed a rather unusual show – 200 Chinese workers marched dozens of kilometres towards the city of Homiel in protest against wage arrears and poor working conditions. These foreign workers are currently employed by the...

16 July 2015
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Belarus in the Eurasian Economic Union: Enough is Enough

Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei criticised cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Minsk is no longer hiding that its own position on the EU-led Eastern Partnership initiative starkly differs from Russia's stance on the issue. Although Minsk continues...

7 July 2015
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Failure of Minsk-2 and the Belarusian Presidential Election

Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s role as a mediator in the conflict in Ukraine has received high praise from European officials and partially ended the isolation of the republic. Recently the government has taken part in several high-level events, most...

16 June 2015
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Political Parties in Belarus – Do They Really Matter?

On 9 June, the Chairman of Central Election Commission, Lidzia Yarmoshyna, declared that the 2015 presidential election in Belarus would take place on 11 October, pushing it ahead of the previously declared 15 November date, the latest possible date...

12 June 2015
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Belarus and the United States: Stepping Stones to Nowhere

On June 10, US President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Belarusian leaders for one more year. Responding to the news, press secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dzmitry Mironchyk observed a “clear improvement” in Belarus-US relations in...

10 June 2015
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Political Prisoners – No Longer a Sticking Point in Belarus-EU Relations?

This May, the Belarusian authorities increased pressure on a number of political prisoners, including former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkievič, anarchist Mikalaj Dziadok and political activist Jury Rubcoŭ. This move appears unreasonable when set against a backdrop of improving relations with...

28 May 2015
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Why Ukraine Failed to Revolutionize Belarus

Given the numerous ties which link Belarus to Ukraine, one might expect the radical political changes in Ukraine to revolutionise Belarus. Yet political activity in Belarus is barely noticeable, despite dramatic developments in Ukraine and the forthcoming presidential election. Last...

22 May 2015
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Belarus-China Relations: More Hype than Substance?

On 10-12 May, Chinese president Xi Jinping capped off his Eurasia trip with a visit to Minsk. As during his prior stops in Kazakhstan and Russia, the Chinese leader was sizing up the opportunities, as well as the risks,...

19 May 2015
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Minsk Dialogue Non-Paper: Another Yalta is Impossible

The organisers of the Minsk Dialogue conference in Minsk (Liberal Club and the Ostrogorski Centre) released the non-paper timed for the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit which will take place in Riga on 21-22 May 2015. The non-paper results from...

18 May 2015
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Sanctions, Peace Talks, Bologna Process: Is There Hope for Change?

After a second attempt, on 14 May Belarus joined the Bologna process and the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area (EHEA). While Belarus's acceptance into the Bologna process may open up prospects for long-term...