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Editorial: Lukashenka’s election message to the West
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Two representatives of the opposition and civil society will end up in the newly-appointed Belarusian Parliament. This reflects not the true level of support of the opposition, but rather Aleksander Lukashenka’s willingness to demonstrate good will to the European Union....
11 September 2016
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Belarus parliamentary elections 2016 – live updates from Minsk

Belarus Digest provided live online coverage of the parliamentary elections in Belarus scheduled for 11 September: the most important developments as well as reactions to the process and results. We featured a collection of stories from international and Belarusian media,...

11 September 2016
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Early vote period – digest of the 2016 parliament elections

The five-day early voting period of the 2016 Belarusian parliamentary elections took place from September 6 to 10. The main Election Day is Sunday, September 11. Polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM. In these elections nearly...

7 September 2016
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Parliamentary campaigning period – digest of the 2016 parliament elections

This report covers campaign developments that occur during the Belarusian parliamentary ‘campaigning period,’ which lasts from the end of candidate registration on August 11 until Election Day, September 11. It focuses on candidate campaigning, particularly TV appeals and debates,...

6 September 2016
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Mysteries of the first Belarusian nuclear power plant

On 26 August 2016, a 43-year old worker was injured and killed as a result of the explosion of an oxygen gas tank at the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP) construction site. This death was the latest in a series...

23 August 2016
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A Final Blow to Independent Sociology in Belarus?

On 31 July 2016, Belarusian TV broadcast a “special report,” accusing the IISEPS (Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies) of fraud and fabrication of results. Soon thereafter, the founder of IISEPS, Aleh Manaeŭ​, stated that his organisation would cease...

19 August 2016
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Nomination and Registration of Candidates – Digest of the 2016 Parliament Elections

On August 11, the registration of candidates for the September 11 parliamentary elections ended. District Election Commissions (DECs) reviewed registration documents for 630 potential candidates. Below is a summary of nomination and registration of candidates followed by a detailed...

17 August 2016
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Why Does Europe Engage with Belarus’s Rubber Stamp Parliament?

On 2 – 4 August, Ryszard Terlecki, vice-speaker of the Polish Sejm, led the highest-level parliamentary delegation of an EU country to Minsk in twenty years. This visit is emblematic of the increasingly common nature of inter-parliamentary contacts between Belarus...

16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

10 August 2016
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Formation of Precinct Election Commissions – Digest of the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

On 27 July, the formation of Precinct Election Commissions (PECs) ended. PECs are responsible for conducting the vote count. In total 5,971 PECs were formed inside the country, plus another 47 abroad. On July 29, the Central Election Commission...

5 August 2016
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Is Belarus-China Cooperation a Pipe Dream?

On 20 June 2016 Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka held a meeting with vice-chairman and president of the Chinese CITIC Group Corporation Wang Jiong. The meeting seems particularly significant in light of Lukashenka’s planned visit to China in September 2016. The...

1 August 2016
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Analytical paper: Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict

Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began, the Kremlin has persistently tried to expand its control over Belarus, a process that has had quite the opposite effect as Belarusian government policy became more independent in 2014-2015. There has always existed a paradox...

28 July 2016
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2016 Ostrogorski Forum: Can Belarus be Neutral in the Shadow of Russia?

On 29 June the Ostrogorski Centre held the first Ostrogorski Forum on foreign policy and security in Minsk. The theme of this year's conference was 'Inertia, strengthening neutrality or changing the foreign policy orientation? Foreign policy in Belarus at the...

27 July 2016
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Why Belarus Fails to Attract Foreign Tourists

In April 2016 the NGO Priceconomics published an article entitled Which Countries Are the Most / Least Overrun by Tourists? in which Belarus was ranked the 11th least popular country for tourists. The fact that a central European country is...

18 July 2016
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Poland Improves Links with Minsk at the Expence of the Opposition?

According to Polish MP Robert Winnicki, Poland should stop funding the Belsat TV channel and improve relations with Lukashenka. Although Winnicki remains a marginal figure in Polish politics, his statement is indicative of a new...