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Freedom Day, Arbitrary Detentions and Travel Bans – Belarus Politics Digest
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Although Belarusian authorities permitted and did not interfere with the annual Freedom Day opposition rally in the centre of Minsk, the pressure against opposition activists is increasing. Multiple detentions leading to short-term prison terms are now coupled with restrictions on travelling...
29 March 2012
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Opinion: Why the Eastern Partnership Fails to Reach Belarus

Although formally a member of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), unfortunately Belarus does not participate in any of its programmes. It is excluded from visa liberalisation, the EaP flagship initiatives, and bilateral track programmes: for example, the Small and Medium-Size Enterprise...

28 March 2012
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Collateral Damage of the EU-Belarus Diplomatic War

The EU Council of Ministers recently introduced new restrictive measures against Belarusian businessmen and 29 companies that allegedly support the Belarusian regime. It is the first time the EU added so many Belarusian enterprises to its ban list. European...

27 March 2012
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Faces of Belarusian Politics: The Unsinkable Mikhail Myasnikovich

Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich is a veteran of Belarusian politics. He served as Deputy Prime Minister of Soviet Byelorussia and then independent Belarus and was the key aide of Prime Minister Kebich, the main rival of Alexandr...

26 March 2012
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Why Does the “Last Dictatorship in Europe” Hold Elections?

Two things are already certain about the September 2012 parliamentary election in Belarus. First, the ballot will once again be rigged so that the “right” candidates are elected. Second, the West will not recognise the elections as free and...

24 March 2012
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A Letter to a European Friend – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

The Belarusian expert community vigorously debated three topics last week: the EU-Belarus diplomatic conflict, the deepening dependence of Belarus upon Russia and capital punishment. EU-Belarus Conflict A Letter to a European Friend – Siarhey Dubavets uses physics terminology to make the point that by pressuring a substance, one cannot destroy it, but rather push...

23 March 2012
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German-Belarusian Relations at an All-Time Low

German-Belarusian relations are currently at an all-time low. The tension is rising, and it is still uncertain when the German ambassador will return to Minsk. In the meantime, the Belarusian authorities are doing everything possible to further deteriorate relations. As a result, all major German...

21 March 2012
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Diplomatic Scandal and Why Political Prisoners Are Not Released – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Diplomatic scandal with the European Union, political prisoners and economic sanctions remain in the focus of attention of Belarusian analysts. Other topics include the effect of Putin's election as president in Russia, the state of the legal profession in...

20 March 2012
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Ukraine and Belarus: Friends Against Russia?

This month the EU External Action faced a stubborn unwillingness by two post-Soviet countries to listen to its advice on political reforms. As the diplomatic scandal unfolded in Minsk, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry protested against the behaviour of the EU Ambassador to...

19 March 2012
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Belarus-Russia Relations: Between Equilibrium and Anschluss

Today Lukashenka is taking part in the Interstate Council of the Eurasian Economic Community in Moscow to "give new momentum to the integration processes." With no EU ambassadors in Minsk, relations between Belarus and Western nations are at their...

16 March 2012
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Business Climate in Belarus: Pessimism Prevails

Belarusian government recently reaffirmed its desire to become a top-30 nation in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. To assess how well local authorities across the country pursue this goal a number of Belarusian organisations organised a special competition –...

14 March 2012
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The Role of Security Services in Belarus Politics

To understand the balance of power in Belarus it is important to understand the role of the siloviki (the security services). Although they affect political decision-making and the degree of violence in domestic politics they are not a predominant...

13 March 2012
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Opposition Activists Face Travel Restrictions – Digest of Belarusian Politics

Belarusian authorities create problems for opposition activists who are crossing Belarusian borders. Isolation of the country is increasing. Following the departure of EU ambassadors, the IMF decided not to have any resident representative in Belarus and the country's representatives...

11 March 2012
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Moscow Behind Us And Before Us – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

The fresh conflict between the EU and Belarus kept the analytical community busy and organised civil society. Experts also analysed why Belarusian authorities prefer to be pro-Russian and whether the EU has any leverage against Belarusian authorities. Moscow Behind...

9 March 2012
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Faces of Belarusian Politics: Viktar Lukashenka

Viktar Lukashenka is a big enigma. The 36 year-old lieutenant-colonel and the oldest son of the current ruler is rumoured to be the next leader of Belarus. Although Lukashenka has three sons, only Viktar acts as a political figure. Since...