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Why Belarusians Prefer to Shop in Poland and Lithuania?
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In July the Ministry of Trade announced a plan to levy a tax on online purchases in foreign shops​. Since then the state agencies have been elaborating the methods that will be used for tax collection. It could become...
28 August 2015
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Social Advertising in Belarus: Healthy Life Style and Patriotism

The billboards in Belarus tell an interesting story about the country. Before 1991, these advertisements were sponsored by the communist authorities and focused on both social and political propaganda. Even today the majority of billboards throughout Belarusian cities promote healthy...

26 August 2015
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How Russia’s Subsidies Save the Belarusian Economy

On 24 August, the Brent oil price fell to $43, which was close to a 7-year low. Although Belarus has not got its own crude oil, this is terrible news for its economy. The cheaper the oil, the lower...

25 August 2015
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Belarus Strengthens Its Air Force With Russia’s Reluctant Support

Last week, the Belarusian army newspaper Vo Slavu Rodiny published an article praising the newly received Russian warplanes. However, these Russian aircraft are a step backward compared to the equipment that Belarus already had. President Lukashenka recently publicly complained that...

24 August 2015
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Humanism or Political Calculation: Why Did Lukashenka Pardon Political Prisoners?

On 22 August, the state-run news agency Belta reported that “based on the principle of humanism” the President of Belarus decided to pardon and release from prison former presidential candidate Mikalaj Statkevich and five other opposition figures. Lukashenka is trying...

21 August 2015
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Belarus Engages Ukraine, Moldova, Improves Ties with EU and US – Foreign Policy Digest

The summer holidays proved to be productive for the relations of Belarus with both "old" and "new" Europe. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei ended a continued pause in high-level contacts with Belarus' southern neighbour by an unconventional five-day long visit to...

19 August 2015
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Russian Loans for Belarus: Postponing The Transition

On 28 July Belarus received a long-awaited loan from the Russian government worth $760 million. This was just in time to transfer the funds to the pockets of other borrowers - on the same day Belarus was due to...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

17 August 2015
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Lukashenka’s 2015 Election Strategy

On 4 August, Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with journalists of non-government media to discuss a wide range of topics. In particular he focused on the preelection campaign and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that Russia will not go...

17 August 2015
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SuperHeroes School, Path Of Health, Day of Solidarity – Belarus Civil Society Digest

Belarus and Lithuania connected by bicycle paths. Third Kastryčnicky Economic Forum launches preparations for an event in Minsk. Belarusian authorities launch a principle of a "single window" for all international technical assistance projects. Communal services reform is coming. A group...

14 August 2015
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The Myth of Thriving Belarusian Agriculture

Agriculture was the fastest growing branch of the Belarusian economy in the first half of 2015. Many in Russia and other post-Soviet countries consider Belarus to be a model when it comes to maintaining a viable agricultural sector. But in...

13 August 2015
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Belarus and the OSCE: Peacekeeping and Elections Critisism

By the end of August, 40 long-term observers of the Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will arrive in Belarus to keep an eye on the Presidential elections. Since 1991 Belarus has been a member of this organisation...

11 August 2015
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What Stands behind Another “Liberalisation” in Belarus?

Just as before the 2010 presidential elections the Belarusian authorities show certain signs of liberalisation. They do not use aggressive hostile propaganda on TV and have allowed the opposition to campaign without interference. In addition, Alexander Lukashenka held a press-conference...

10 August 2015
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Belarus and the Ukraine Conflict: More Losses Than Gains?

Although the Belarusian authorities have managed to promote their country in a favourable light by hosting the high-level talks on Ukraine, they seriously worry about the direct spill-over of the Ukrainian conflict.​ Belarus has already suffered economic losses from the...

7 August 2015
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Candidates for 2015 Presidential Elections: Who Are They?

On 20 July the Central Election Committee of Belarus registered eight initiative groups which nominate candidates for the presidency. Except Lukashenka himself, two candidates can be regarded as pro-government, three as oppositional and the other two as neutral and...