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Minsk Students Protest Against Re-Examination Charges
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Students of the Belarusian State University (BSU) plan to hold a demonstration near the university administration building on 2 December to protest against re-examination charges. The university recently introduced these to incentivize students not to fail exams. The decision to...
27 November 2015
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New Policies on Deposits, Waiting for Foreign Money – Digest of Belarus Economy

On 20 November 2015 Belstat, the official statistical body, released the updated macro-economic statistics. Disappointing figures on exports and manufacturing suggest that the economic downturn in Belarus continues. However, on 11 November 2015 the National Bank of Belarus announced reforms...

26 November 2015
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Belarus-Russia Military Cooperation: Can the Kremlin Dictate the Terms?

On 26 October Russian President Putin planned for a discussion about the plans for establishing a Russian airbase in Belarus with his Belarusian colleague Lukashenka. They did not meet. Instead, a Russian general told the press that the base plans...

25 November 2015
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Economic and Financial Reforms, Defensive Military Strategy – Western Press Digest

Belarus's economy continues to shrink, and the government tries to sell proposed reforms for financial support from international organisations. Meanwhile, the IMF notices "considerable progress" in discussing reforms and the World Bank puts forward its vision of the reforms...

23 November 2015
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The Way They Do Reforms in Belarus: Actions, Framework, and Foreign Partners

Before the elections, many publications dealt with the subject of reform in Belarus. The analysis revolved around the post-Soviet space analysing the explicit degradation of the era of a commodity economy. This means that all these states will have...

20 November 2015
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Russia Would Rather Cut Pensions than Subsidies to Belarus – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian experts discussed Russian subsidies, economic reforms, which the government will have to implement and the challenges of their implementation. Other topics include human rights violations in July-September, coverage of the 2015 presidential elections in state media and the state...

19 November 2015
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IMF Negotiations, Denomination, Drunk Cossacks – Belarus State Press Digest

The Belarusian leadership negotiates reform plans with the IMF mission and is ready to gradually introduce more market-oriented policies. The new denomination of the national currency will bring in new banknotes in 2016, and Belarusian coins will appear for...

18 November 2015
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Europe Insists on Human Rights Progress, Nuclear Plant Concerns – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In the first half of November, senior Belarusian diplomats met with their counterparts from Lithuania and France. The meetings focused on economic cooperation. However, Europe has insisted on the need for further progress in the fields of human rights...

17 November 2015
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Are Belarusian Authorities Ready For Market Reforms?

On 3-4 November three biggest Belarusian economic think-tanks organised the Kastryčnicki Ekanamičny Forum (KEF) conference in Minsk. The third annual economic conference gathered a number of high-ranking Belarusian and foreign experts, and representatives of international institutions like the IMF...

16 November 2015
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First Belarusian Rockets, Modern Aircraft Instead of Russian Airbase – Belarus Security Digest

On Friday, Aleksandr Lukashenka approved a five-year plan for the deployment of a joint Belarus-Russian military group, which will be adopted at a forthcoming meeting with the Russian President. Just before this news became public, Delfi.it reported that US General...

13 November 2015
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Why Belarusians Cannot Afford Housing in Belarus

In 2015, prices for Belarusian apartments fell by about a quarter. Yet few Belarusians can afford to purchase an apartment even at this cheaper price. Interest rates are incredibly high, reaching 30-35% per annum. Banks also impose loan requirements...

12 November 2015
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Belarus – US Relations: Lukashenka No Longer Viewed as a Russian Puppet

Following “peaceful” elections in Belarus, the United States sent two medium-level diplomats to Minsk on 4-5 November. Bridget Brink and Robert Berschinski came to reiterate America’s willingness to uphold the “virtuous cycle” in bilateral relations when one's positive steps...

11 November 2015
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Automobiles, Trains and Buses – Getting Around Belarus

For the first-time visitor from the West, a scheduled flight to Minsk provides the most direct means of access to Belarus. Some venture no further than the capital itself, yet getting out of Minsk and beyond the façade of...

11 November 2015
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Sanctions Suspended, Belarusian Airlines, Warsaw Conference – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

In the past month, Belarus's authorities have continued to benefit from balancing between east and west. The EU suspended sanctions against Belarus in response to the nonviolent presidential election, and in the east Belarus continues to enjoy the benefits...

10 November 2015
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Belarusian Government: Strong on the Opposition, Weak on the Shadow Economy

The Belarusian government plans to step up its campaign against the shadow economy. In January 2016, new amendments to the Tax Code will come into force which introduce harsher punishments against illicit business. Last month, President Alexander Lukashenka demanded...