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Belarus in US Congress: Economic Interests or Concerns about Human Rights?
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On July 17, 2015, Representative Steve Pearce of New Mexico proposed a bill imposing sanctions on JSC Belaruskali, one of the world’s largest potash miners. Titled "Belarus Democracy and Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015", the bill emphasises human rights violations...
31 July 2015
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Belarus-EU Thaw: Will It Last This Time?

On 13 July, the Council of the European Union once again removed restrictions against several Belarusian officials and entities subjected to an EU-wide travel ban and asset freeze. That decision amended Belarus sanctions listings introduced after the failure of Belarus...

30 July 2015
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Getting Belarusian Names and Places Right

For many foreigners the Latinised spellings for Belarusian places and names continue to present real difficulties or just appear unpronounceable. Belarusians themselves feel annoyed about the ways their names are transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script. It has become even...

29 July 2015
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Creeping Signs of the Approaching Crisis – Belarus Economy Digest

The first half of the year has shown clear evidence that the Belarusian economy needs better incentives to revive its industrial strengths. In July the authorities announced their plans to provide financial assistance to several "giants" of industry. However, this...

28 July 2015
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Belarus Discovers Its Eurasian Side

In July, Belarus launched a diplomatic offensive to build ties with regional superpowers like China, India and Brazil seeking to counterbalance the much-publicised overtures its has been making to the West. The BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, provided Lukashenka with...

27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...

24 July 2015
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Will an Economic Downturn Cause Unrest Ahead of Elections?

On 2 July Belarus witnessed a rather unusual show – 200 Chinese workers marched dozens of kilometres towards the city of Homiel in protest against wage arrears and poor working conditions. These foreign workers are currently employed by the...

23 July 2015
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Strengthening Border with Ukraine, Chinese Paratroopers – Belarus Security Digest

The situation in Ukraine continues to be a major concern for the Belarusian authorities, while the prospects of Russia's air base is still uncertain as Minsk maintains its low-profile cooperation with NATO. Belarus is set to receive additional second-hand Russian...

21 July 2015
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Why Belarus Struggles to Stop Subsidising Its Enterprises

This month, the Belarusian Ministry of Finance will issue bonds for $425.8 million to bail out Gomselmash (abbreviation for Homiel Rural Machine Building), the most important industrial holding company of the second largest city in the country. The large...

20 July 2015
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The Belarusian National University – the Path Forward

Two months ago dozens of prominent Belarusian intellectuals and civil society leaders called for the establishment of a Belarusian national university. This push followed realisation by leaders of Belarusian civil society that they were powerless to influence the election...

16 July 2015
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Belarus in the Eurasian Economic Union: Enough is Enough

Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei criticised cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Minsk is no longer hiding that its own position on the EU-led Eastern Partnership initiative starkly differs from Russia's stance on the issue. Although Minsk continues...

14 July 2015
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Pro-Russian Maidan, IISEPS National Poll, Media Barometer – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Is “pro-Russian Maidan” in Belarus possible? Grigory Ioffe agrees with an assumption about such a scenario in Minsk if Lukashenka spoils his relations with Moscow or reneges on some of his promises. BISS Political Media Barometer suggests that the United...

13 July 2015
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Intensive Dialogue with Europe, South Asian and African Overtures – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has been making a desperate attempt to introduce its goods to new markets, hoping to compensate for declining exports to many of their traditional destinations, especially Russia. Over the past few weeks, Belarusian diplomats have concentrated their trade promotion...

10 July 2015
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Investment Climate in Belarus: Room for Growth

On 9 July General Motors and JV Unison signed an agreement to assemble Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Eskaleyd automobiles in the Minsk region. From the beginning of the year, several international fast food chains have announced a desire to open...

9 July 2015
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Myths of Chinese Engagement in Belarus: No Money Between Friends?

Last Thursday, Chinese workers in the Homel Province of Belarus broke out in a protest over wage arrears. The labour conflict went public and was yet another sign of growing Chinese activity in Belarus. The protest, unusual for Belarus,...