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Belarus Economy: More Stable But Still Fragile
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International agency Standard&Poors in April increased Belarus' credit rating from B- (negative) to B (stable). The agency i observed the signs of financial stabilisation in Belarus economy. Although inflation is still very high, it began to slow down, the...
27 April 2012
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Belarus Trapped Into Eurasian Integration

The Ambassadors of Poland, Lithuania and Sweden have returned to Minsk and their colleagues are on the way to the Belarusian capital. It seems that EU-Belarus relations have broken the deadlock, but they remain difficult and the EU has...

26 April 2012
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The Echo of Chernobyl

26 April is a very sad day in Belarusian history. On 26 April 1986 a disastrous accident took place at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, just across the border in Ukraine. It became one of the most horrible man-made...

25 April 2012
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A Test of Opportunity for Ukraine and Belarus: Elections in 2012

The two largest states on the EU’s eastern borders, Ukraine and Belarus, will be holding parliamentary elections this autumn. They are being held at a particularly low point in relations with the EU. Few are optimistic about the outcome. Nonetheless,...

24 April 2012
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Changes in Belarus: The Task for the Opposition, not Foreign Powers

The recent release of two opposition activists is an important event but hardly a turning point for the political situation in Belarus. More than a dozen political prisoners remain incarcerated. Even if Alexandr Lukashenka frees all political prisoners and...

22 April 2012
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“I’m From a Village”, China Industrial Park, Byalyatski – Politics & Civil Society Digest

​A propaganda-style music video "I'm From a Village" by a 13-year old girl was the breaking news of the week in online media. Other notable development include public debate on the proposed China Industrial Park in Belarus and the...

19 April 2012
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Selling Russian to the Russians

This week the Belarusian Association of Advertisers announced a competition for the best poster in popularising the Belarusian language. They want to draw public attention to "one of the most painful social problems” - the low usage of Belarusian in...

18 April 2012
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Germany and Belarus: Why People’s Diplomacy Doesn’t Work

The argument for loosening the visa regime for Belarusian citizen is that people to people contacts must improve. At a time when the official diplomatic relations are at an all-time low, it seems that the exchange between ordinary...

17 April 2012
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Belarus’ Magic Oil Economy

The Belarusian Statistics Agency reported about a fantastic growth of exports in January-February 2012. Compared to the same period last year, the country’s exports grew by impressive 62,5%. The official propaganda trumpeted that Belarus has successfully overcome all the economic troubles...

15 April 2012
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Political Prisoners in Belarus: How to Break the Vicious Circle

Former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and his main campaign aide Dzmitry Bandarenka have been released from prison on the eve of the Christian Orthodox Easter. It looks like the first step in the de-escalation of the worst EU-Belarus...

15 April 2012
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Sannikov Released, Kavalenka Stops Hunger Strike – Politics and Civil Society Digest

Yesterday Andrei Sannikov, a 2010 presidential candidate, was released after almost sixteen months in prison.  Belarusian authorities prepare for the next warming up cycle in their relations with the West where political prisoners, Western pressure and Russian subsidies (or absence thereof)...

13 April 2012
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Political Parties in Belarus Consider Elections Tactics

Opposition political groupings in Belarus are stepping up preparations for the parliamentary elections, scheduled for 23 September 2012. An IRI opinion poll figure from February shows that 43 per cent of people believe that in order to solve the economic...

11 April 2012
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How the EU and Lukashenka Keep Belarusians Out of Europe

Belarusians are the most travel-restricted nation in Europe. Both their own government and the European Union seem to be determined not to let them out.   The Belarusian authorities prevent leading opposition activists, students and state bureaucrats from travelling to...

11 April 2012
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Faces of Belarusian Politics: The Faceless Makey

The oppositional analysts used to hope that the head of the Presidential Administration of Belarus Uladzimir Makey would establish better relations with the West. His background created the impression of a sophisticated politician familiar with the West. He made it to the...

10 April 2012
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Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz: The Need for Strategic Patience

Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz served as the US ambassador to Belarus between 1994 and 1997. He arrived in Belarus a few months after Alexander Lukashenka was elected president and witnessed Belarus sliding from a relative democracy into authoritarianism. Ambassador Yalowitz...