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Talks with Lukashenka Only After Release of Political Prisoners – Politics and Civil Society Digest
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Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced on Monday his willingness to begin talks with the opposition on the future of Belarus. Yesterday Belarusian opposition leaders dismissed any talks until all political prisoners are released. As this digest demonstrates, despite their rhetoric, the...
29 August 2011
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‘Don Quixote’ Role of the Belarusian Opposition – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

  This month Belarusian analysts focused on geopolitical games involving Belarus, the deep roots of the economic crisis and the inability of the officials in Minsk to deal with it. Another topic which began to receive more attention is the...

25 August 2011
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The Bitter Smack of Belarusian Language

This month an advertising campaign that may puzzle foreign observers was launched in Minsk.  Advertising company “Belzneshreklama” began to advertise the Belarusian language. Their posters show various berries and Belarusian names for them. And what is more unusual -...

24 August 2011
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No Belarusian Roubles Please

If you are in Belarus and only have Belarusian roubles to pay for your ticket – be prepared to stay in the country a bit longer.  AirBaltic and some other companies  operating in Belarus no longer accept Belarusian roubles. Instead...

22 August 2011
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Ales Byalyatsky Formally Charged, a Lawyer Disbarred – Politics Digest

Last week Belarusian authorities continued the criminal prosecution of Ales Byalyatsky. The authorities also continued to put pressure on lawyers who represent opposition activists. There were no massive protests last week but Belaruian courts fined two people who were involved in organizing...

20 August 2011
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Who Loses when Minsk Halts Uranium Deal

This week Belarus fulfilled its promise to retaliate to the US sanctions. Minsk suspended an agreement with the United States to give up its 220-kilogram stockpile of enriched uranium. What are the implications of this decision? Under the December 2010...

18 August 2011
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Belarus-Iran: Noisy Friendship Without Real Results

Belarusian State Oil Company “Belarusnafta” can no longer extract oil in Iran. According to official statements released this week the Iranian side decided that the Belarusian company had not fulfilled the contract's conditions and revoked its extraction permit. This...

17 August 2011
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Unwanted Privatization

Last week Russia's President Vladimir Putin reiterated that privatisation of state enterprises is a necessary precondition for further financial support. The International Monetary Fund also insists on privatization in its recommendations. But many in Belarus - both in the...

16 August 2011
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Mixed Message from Minsk – Politics & Civil Society Digest

Belarus authorities send a mixed message about their willingness to soften repressions against their opponents. On the one hand, nine participants of December 2011 protests against falsification of elections were pardoned last week. On the other hand, criminal investigation proceedings...

15 August 2011
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Bargaining for Political Prisoners Has Begun? – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian analysts began discussing the reasons why Lukashenka pardoned nine participants of protests against falsification of elections in December 2010. Others analyze why those protests have not materialized in political changes and what comes next as the economic crises...

13 August 2011
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Belarus Needs CSTO, CSTO needs Belarus

Six out of seven member states attended an unofficial summit meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, on August 12-13.
 Isolated from the West and in the midst of an economic crisis, Belarus was one...

11 August 2011
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Can Belarus Retaliate Against New US Sanctions?

  Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned four Belarusian enterprises of Belneftekhim Concern, Belarus’ largest petrochemical conglomerate. Sanctions hit some of thee most profitable state-owned companies in Belarus - OAO Naftan, OAO Grodno Azot, JSC Grodno Khimvolokno and...

10 August 2011
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It’s Just the Beginning

"It's just the beginning" reads the top headline of Belarus Today, the main official newspaper in Belarus.  The story covers not the economic crisis in Belarus but the ongoing riots in London. The newspaper hints that reduction in unemployment...

5 August 2011
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A Stab in the Back? Lithuania Leaks Information About Belarusian Activists

Yesterday Mikalay Khalezin, the head of the Belarus Free Theatre accused Lithuania of handing information about accounts of Belarusian activists and NGOs in Lithuanian banks to the Lukashenka regime. At first it was hard to believe what Khalezin wrote...

5 August 2011
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Prominent Belarus Activist Arrested – Civil Society & Politics Digest

The news of the week is yesterday's arrest of a prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky. The arrest reportedly followed release of information by Lithuanian Ministry of Justice to Belarus authorities about around 400 bank accounts of Belarusian...