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Toilet Paper-free Sausage, Journalists Fined, Potential Russian Pork Ban – Western Press Digest
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The Belarusian economy received the brunt of the Western press' attention in October. Belarus is apparently looking to continue exporting sanctioned EU foodstuffs to Russia, while Russia is trying to stop it from entering the country. The IMF is...
30 October 2014
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Benefits of the Eurasian Integration, Jobless Belarusians, Code of Conduct For Officials – Belarus State TV Digest

Over the last few weeks Belarusian state TV devoted much attention to discussing Eurasian Union integration, how to make officials nicer and the alleged low level of unemployment in Belarus. It also proudly reported Belarus's high ranking in the...

29 October 2014
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Belarus May Introduce Forced Labour to Fight Sponging

On 20 October the government announced a plan to introduce punishment for sponging ('tuneyadstvo’). It was practiced in Soviet times and it may return to Belarus again. About 10% of population able to work do not pay taxes although...

27 October 2014
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The Russian Air Force Base in Belarus: Getting the Facts Straight

Last week Chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev announced that a Russian airbase would be established in Babruysk in 2016. An article from the Moscow Times on expanding the Russian air force presence abroad, subsequently reprinted in...

24 October 2014
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The Unwanted Economic Union in Exchange for Money – Digest of the Belarusian Economy

The main economic events for October in Belarus revolve around Russia: the ratification of the Eurasian Economic Union, the continued fighting over the re-export of banned European foodstuffs to Russia, and, finally, an argument over Russia’s oil tax manoeuvre. Russia’s...

23 October 2014
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UK Ambassador Bruce Bucknell on Belarusian Identity, Business Climate, Education and Visas

Belarus Digest interviewed Bruce Bucknell, British Ambassador to Belarus who has been serving in Minsk since July 2012. He also runs a blog about his work in Belarus. Bruce Bucknell shared his views on Belarusian identity, importance of...

21 October 2014
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Belarus Moves Towards Full-Scale Border Control With Russia – Belarus Security Digest

In a somewhat uncharacteristic move, Belarus started working on a full-scale border guard on the Belarusian-Russian border. Western sanctions are impeding the development of industrial cooperation between Belarus and Russia, which still hopes to draw CIS countries into its confrontation...

20 October 2014
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The Belarusian University in Exile Needs More Than a New Rector

On 30 September, Professor Anatoli Mikhailov left his post as rector and became the president of the European Humanities University (EHU) - a Belarusian university in exile. Rather than resigning from working for the university, Professor Mikhailov switched over to...

17 October 2014
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The Belarusian Opposition: Recovering from 2010, Preparing for 2015

Everyone knows that the Belarusian opposition has had little chance of being elected since the late 1990s. Repression against the opposition continues to turn up more frequently in the news than their own actions, particularly given the Western public's...

16 October 2014
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Belarus At The United Nations: Resentment, Bragging And Anti-Western Rhetoric

Three weeks ago Belarus Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei presented the country's multilateral initiatives in the general debate of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. The United Nations remains Belarus' preferred tool for promoting its foreign...

15 October 2014
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Belarus and Ukraine Football Fans Unite against Putin

On 9 October, during a Belarus-Ukraine qualifying match to Euro 2016, Ukrainian and Belarusian fans demonstrated an unprecedented level of solidarity. They shouted the national slogans of both countries and chanted an infamous anti-Putin song. Although the police detained around...

14 October 2014
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Guardian Training in Minsk, Kastrychnitski Economic Forum, Open Data Community – Belarus Civil Society Digest

Over 50 companies offer discounts for students participating in the free language course Mova Nanova. KEF conference 'The Global Context, Local decisions: the potential of the private sector in Belarus' will take place in Minsk. Belarusian state officials, independent economists and...

13 October 2014
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Belarus OKs European Integration of Moldova, Offers to Promote China in Europe – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka, unlike his Russian counterpart, sees no immediate problems for Belarus in Moldova's association with Europe. However, he is dissatisfied with the existing level of trade and investments in Belarus' relations with most CIS...

10 October 2014
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Life in a Belarusian Village – Belarus Photo Digest

Belarus Digest is launching a new series, Belarus Photo Digest, which shows images of different aspects of life in today's Belarus. In the first issue photographer Siarhiej Leskiec documents everyday life in the Belarusian countryside. Only one in four Belarusians...

8 October 2014
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Belarus Threatens to Spoil the Inauguration of the Eurasian Economic Union

According to a leaked document published by TUT.BY this week, the Belarusian parliament will insert its own special clause when it ratifies the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union. The clause will reserve the country’s right to ignore its treaty...