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Visa-free travel and registration in Belarus: not so simple
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Starting 12 February, citizens of 80 states, including 39 European countries,​ will be able to enter Belarus visa-free through the Minsk National Airport. But unlike Kazakhstan, which allows foreigners to stay in the country for up to 30 days,...
16 January 2017
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Saving Europe’s security architecture – Belarus foreign policy digest

Belarus’s diplomatic activities slowed down before the holidays in December. The country’s diplomacy focused mostly on a multilateral agenda in preparation for its chairmanship of the Central European Initiative, as well as manoeuvring at the United Nations. Foreign minister Vladimir...

12 January 2017
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Lukashenka appoints a top communist as the new Minister of Education

On 15 December President Aliaksandr Lukashenka appointed vice-mayor of Minsk Ihar Karpenka as Minister of Education. However, two important facts about the latter have caused serious discussion within the Belarusian expert community. First, at the moment of his appointment, Ihar...

10 January 2017
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Belarus and Georgia: Russian lessons and Lukashenka’s new strategy

Diplomacy between Belarus and Georgia has taken on new life. On 20 December 2016 Belarus finally opened its embassy in Tbilisi. This decision, long and complicated for both sides, has proved their intention to renew bilateral dialogue. This step...

6 January 2017
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Belarus prepares to expand its visa-free zone

In October-December 2016, almost 2,000 tourists took advantage of new visa-free regulations to visit Hrodna Region. In response to the increasing amount of foreign tourists, Hrodna Region has started working on two important initiatives: visa-free railway voyages and launching...

23 December 2016
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A U-turn in Poland’s policy towards Belarus?

On 20 December, Polish MP Robert Tyszkiewicz publicly stated that Poland will hold parliamentary debates on the future of Belsat, an independent Belarusian TV channel based in Poland. According to Tyszkiewicz, 'the termination of Belsat TV would mean a U-turn...

21 December 2016
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Eastern Partnership: regional projects that save EU-Belarus relations

Relations between Belarus and the European Union are still in crisis. An EU resolution on Belarus, delivered on 24 November, once again demonstrated just how weak bilateral relations are. According to the document, the Belarusian government has yet...

20 December 2016
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Police brutality in Belarus

On 26 November 2016, a 36-year old woman was killed in a car accident as she was crossing the road in the village of Darava in the Brest region. The drunk driver responsible for the accident turned out to be...

19 December 2016
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Editorial: supporting Belsat is in the real interest of Warsaw and Minsk

In an interview published yesterday on Wpolityce.pl, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski announced that his Ministry is considering closing down Belsat, the only Belarusian language satellite channel. The possibility that Belsat may be taken off the air has...

12 December 2016
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Education as a lifeline for elderly Belarusians?

In 2030 the number of elderly in Belarus will predictably reach 29,7% of the population. Life quality of seniors in Belarus is low and nothing indicates further improvement. Instead of the pension age reform, elderly population needs an effective strategy...

8 December 2016
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Can Belarus punish Lithuania for its position on the Astraviec NPP?

On 7 December, the head of the Russian Railways stated that his company can provide a large enough discount to Belarusian companies to allow them to cease transporting cargo through the Baltic States. At the same time, Latvian officials...

24 November 2016
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Belarus on the international stage: a Russian puppet or a skillful diplomat?

On 15 November, at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the Belarusian delegation voted against a draft resolution tabled by Ukraine on the human rights situation in Crimea. This vote, along with Belarus’s failed attempt to adjourn debate...

22 November 2016
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No compromise between Belarus and Lithuania on Astraviec NPP

On 15 November, Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis presented his country's new energy strategy. Although it is not stated directly, the strategy strongly implies that Lithuania will not buy electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which will begin...

18 November 2016
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What does Trump’s presidency mean for Belarus?

On 9 November, Aliaksandr Lukashenka congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the US presidential election. He praised Trump's “active and sincere position", hoping to restore Belarus-US relations; he also warned Russians against rejoicing over Trump's triumph. However, people on...

16 November 2016
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Three ‘thorns in the flesh’ of Belarus-Poland relations

Despite some recent positive trends in relations between Belarus and Poland, several unresolved issues hamper their full normalisation. Warsaw remains largely bound by the European Union’s official policy towards Minsk. The Belarusian authorities are suspicious of Poland’s support of democratic...