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Why Belarus Sides With Azerbaijan, Not Armenia
At a meeting last week, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka did his best to persuade the Armenian foreign minister of Belarus’ goodwill. But this was hardly convincing - the halcyon days of close relations between the two countries are long gone....
28 September 2011
Belarus May Destroy The Last Large European Swamps

Belarus is on the verge of breaching one of its serious international ecological commitments. If the government plans to extinguish Belarusian swamps goes ahead, this could have implications for the rest of Europe. This summer, the Belarusian government launched a...

27 September 2011
Authorities Target Recipients of Foreign Aid – Politics and Civil Society Digest

Belarusian authorities increasingly target those who receive financial support from international and foreign donors. Years ago they cut off virtually all sources of domestic financial support of civil society. Now they have stepped up their efforts to punish those...

26 September 2011
Friends in China and Iran – Belarus in Western Press Digest

As the global economy teeters on the brink of breakdown, Belarus’ own financial woes still get a mention in Western financial news. In political terms, suspected links between Belarusian business and the Iranian nuclear programme, as well as the...

22 September 2011
How to Solve the Debt Servicing Problem: Proposals of the Nomenklatura and Lukashenka

In August, speaking at a meeting of the Government, Vice Prime Minister Siarhiej Rumas expressed the need to work out a strategy of repayment of the growing external debt of Belarus. According to Rumas, by the end of 2011 the...

21 September 2011
The End of Pretence: Minsk Forum 2011 Cancelled

This year for the first time since its kick-off in 1997, there will be no Minsk Forum conference. The international conference, bringing together representatives of Belarusian and international political and economic organisations once a year in Minsk, has been...

19 September 2011
More Political Prisoners Released – Politics and Civil Society Digest

Eleven more released last week, but the most important political prisoners - three former presidential candidates and a leading human rights activist, are still in jail. On the civil society front, the most visible events relate to promotion of...

17 September 2011
Show Trial of Alleged Belarusian Terrorists

Every month of this year was filled with stories from Belarus about predominantly closed trials of political opposition activists, rally participants, human rights defendants, and journalists. This week’s show trial seems different. In the court cage are Vladislav Konovalov and Dmitry...

15 September 2011
The Russian Shoppers Are Coming

Thousands of shoppers from Russia cross the Belarusian border every day to buy large quantities of cheap Belarusian goods. Shopping in Belarus became very attractive after the Belarusian rouble lost over a half of its value in 2011.  Belarusian shops cannot...

13 September 2011
The Dialogue Delusion – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Last week Belarusian analysts were busy discussing Lukashenka's proposal to negotiate with his opponents and the West on how to combat the crises in Belarus. A few days following his proposal Lukashenka said he never meant to discuss anything with...

12 September 2011
More Pressure against Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ – Politics and Civil Society Digest

The Belarusian authorities intensify their pressure on Viasna, the most active human rights organization in the country. Based on materials the Belarusian authorities received from Lithuania and Poland, they have kept Viasna's chairman Ales Byaliatski in prison since August. This...

8 September 2011
Lukashenka Advocates Foreign Military Intervention Against Revolutions

While Belarusian authorities bitterly criticize NATO intervention in Libya, they actively advocate the idea of foreign troops helping post-Soviet dictators remain in power.  Since July Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has sought to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). He...

6 September 2011
Slow Release of Political Prisoners – Politics & Civil Society Digest

Under pressure from the West, Belarusian authorities have begun to release political prisoners. It appears that Lukashenka is prepared to take a long time to release all prisoners to reap as many benefits as possible. Over a dozen protestors...

5 September 2011
Belarus Running Out of Medical Supplies

Over the last months problems with the supply of medicine have reached an alarming state in Belarus. While Belarus is able on its own to produce basic medical supplies, to a large extent it relies on imports. In addition,...

3 September 2011
Learning Democratic Skills Behind Bars

This week the Belarusian leader vowed to release all political prisoners by the beginning of October. The situation in the country is unlikely to change this time around. However, one day Alyaksandr Lukashenka may realize that by putting people...