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Against all odds: raising a large family in Belarus
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On 27 October 2016, the first Belarusian Nobel Prize winner Sviatlana Alexievič made a donation to the Ravenka family, a couple in Slonim with six children. She deliberately made her act public, as discussions of this particular case in the...
29 November 2016
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Will Russia occupy Belarus in 2017?

Recently, the Russian Ministry of Defence disclosed logistical data of railway traffic to other countries for the upcoming year. It revealed that the Kremlin is planning to significantly increase the amount of military cargo headed for Belarus. This may be...

28 November 2016
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A visit from Erdogan, investments from the Gulf, labour migrants – Belarus state press digest

Lukashenka expresses concerns over the ‘growing antagonism’ in EU-Russia relations during a meeting with a delegation from the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the EU. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, together with a delegation of Turkish businessmen, pays...

24 November 2016
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Belarus on the international stage: a Russian puppet or a skillful diplomat?

On 15 November, at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the Belarusian delegation voted against a draft resolution tabled by Ukraine on the human rights situation in Crimea. This vote, along with Belarus’s failed attempt to adjourn debate...

24 November 2016
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Belarus neutrality, border with Russia, visa-free zones, Belarus-Poland relations – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In November the Ostrogorski Centre released the first major publication on neutrality in Belarusian foreign and national security policy. In their articles, analysts from The Centre discussed unresolved issues in Polish-Belarusian relations, border control policies and institutions, and the authorities'...

22 November 2016
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No compromise between Belarus and Lithuania on Astraviec NPP

On 15 November, Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis presented his country's new energy strategy. Although it is not stated directly, the strategy strongly implies that Lithuania will not buy electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which will begin...

21 November 2016
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Trump’s election, military cooperation with the US, comments on KEF 2016 – digest of Belarusian analytics

In November Belarus analysts focused on implications of Donald Trump's election for Belarus-US relations, ways to reform Belarusian economy discussed at Kastryčnicki Economic Forum, as well as developments in human rights situation. Dzianis Meĺjancoŭ believes that after the election of...

18 November 2016
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What does Trump’s presidency mean for Belarus?

On 9 November, Aliaksandr Lukashenka congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the US presidential election. He praised Trump's “active and sincere position", hoping to restore Belarus-US relations; he also warned Russians against rejoicing over Trump's triumph. However, people on...

17 November 2016
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Lessons from Montenegro: is a coup possible in Belarus?

On 6 November 2016 Milivoje Katnich, the Chief Special Prosecutor of Montenegro, gave a statement regarding the failed coup attempt in Podgorica during the Parliamentary elections on 16 October 2016. According to him, several groups of Russian and Russian-backed Serbian...

16 November 2016
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Three ‘thorns in the flesh’ of Belarus-Poland relations

Despite some recent positive trends in relations between Belarus and Poland, several unresolved issues hamper their full normalisation. Warsaw remains largely bound by the European Union’s official policy towards Minsk. The Belarusian authorities are suspicious of Poland’s support of democratic...

15 November 2016
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How Belarusian oil imports change geopolitics in Eastern Europe

On 31 October, several years after imports of non-Russian oil into Belarus ceased, the first cargo train carrying Azerbaijani oil reached a refinery in the Belarusian city of Mazyr. Although the Belarusian government has so far imported only a limited...

14 November 2016
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Lenin in a veil: the long path to decommunisation in Belarus

On 7 November 2016, the anniversary of the October Revolution, a newly renovated statue of Lenin appeared in the Belarusian capital. The controversial reactions to it culminated in the disruption of the unveiling ceremony. Until now, commemoration of the October...

11 November 2016
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Investments from the Gulf, EU energy cooperation, animal welfare law – state press digest

Belarus tries to attract investments from the Persian Gulf states. The EU suggests closer cooperation with Belarus in the energy sector. Belarus ranks 37th in the world in the Doing Business-2017 report. The government introduces significant amendments to animal welfare legislation....

10 November 2016
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What does a New Cold War mean for Belarus?

Last week's visit by the Russian Minister of Defence clearly demonstrated the Kremlin’s intentions to undermine the image of Belarus as a country with a predictable and neutral military and foreign policy. The confrontation between NATO and Russia, as a...

8 November 2016
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Law on parasitism, Eduard Paĺčys released, non-formal education council – civil society digest

Kastryčnicky Ekanamičny Forum (KEF 2016) took place in Minsk with over 500 participants including high level stakeholders from government, international (financial) institutions, business and civil society. Minsk Dialogue holds a conference on pan-European integration. Small vendors draft People's Law. Trade...