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Igar Gubarevich
Igar Gubarevich
Igar Gubarevich is a senior analyst of the Ostrogorski Centre based in Minsk. He grew up in Bielaaziorsk in Brest region and graduated with honours from the Minsk State Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1993 – 2006, Igar worked in various diplomatic positions at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, including postings in New York and Paris.
8 April 2016
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Upgrading Relations with Europe, Winning in an Embassy Row – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In recent weeks, Belarus managed to noticeably upgrade the level of its relations with EU countries. However, the ministerial-level meetings have been limited to Belarus’ long-time sympathisers in Europe (Hungary and Slovenia) as well as its closest neighbours (Poland). The...

17 March 2016
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Belarus Retains Death Penalty, Promotes UN Reform – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In the first half of March, the EU’s top human rights official came to Minsk to talk President Alexander Lukashenka into introducing a temporary moratorium on the death penalty. The Belarusian authorities are very willing to discuss human rights with...

10 March 2016
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Belarus-Sweden Relations: Between Trade and Human Rights

Belarus and Sweden are steadily improving their relations, harshly damaged by a diplomatic row in 2012. Sweden has patiently worked on reestablishing its diplomatic presence in Minsk. Belarus is in no hurry to reciprocate. Earlier this year a delegation of...

26 February 2016
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Europe Tests Belarus’ Willingness to Change – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

The diplomatic exchange between Belarus and Europe got into full swing in February. Over a dozen visits took place within a few weeks either side of the European Union's decision to abrogate its sanctions. Greater involvement of “old Europe”...

10 February 2016
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Closing Embassy in Israel, Engaging with Exotic Organisations – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Israel’s decision to close down its embassy in Minsk and the immediate response in kind by the Belarusian government are likely to undermine recent positive trends in bilateral relations between the two countries. Belarus has meanwhile sought to develop relations...

27 January 2016
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Belarusian Diplomacy in 2015 – Annual Foreign Policy Digest

On 6 January, the Belarusian foreign ministry published an annual review of Belarus’ foreign policy (in Russian only). The document, in bureaucratic lingo, tediously reports on the ministry’s achievements and activities in 2015. Belarus Digest offers its own subjective...

6 January 2016
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Belarus refuses to support Russia over Crimea issue at the UN

Efforts of the Belarusian diplomacy at the main part of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly at the end of 2015 brought mixed results. Alexander Lukashenka’s statements during the high-level segments of the session went...

28 December 2015
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EU to Double Assistance to Belarus – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus’ relations with Europe have found a new lease of life after the suspension of the EU sanctions against Minsk. The EU’s intends to double its financial assistance to Belarus in 2016. The removal of sanctions allowed Belarus’ foreign minister...

15 December 2015
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Strengthening Links with Autocratic Friends – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Despite his regained ability to travel to Europe, President Alexander Lukashenka’s 'social circle' has so far remained limited to leaders of countries that have difficulties in their relations with Western democracies. In the past month, the Belarusian president has become...

8 December 2015
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Belarus and Zimbabwe Aim at “Mega Deals”

Belarus steps up its cooperation with Zimbabwe in sectors ranging from agriculture to mining. In mid-November, The Herald, a government-owned leading Zimbabwean daily, triumphantly reported the “nod” granted by the country’s President Robert Mugabe to a number of investment deals...

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...

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...

5 November 2015
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Human Rights Pariahs Support Belarus at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

On 29 October, Belarusian diplomats had another verbal joust on the issue of human rights in New York. They managed to gather significant support from other international pariahs. However, the adoption of a UN resolution stating concern over the...

3 November 2015
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The Ukraine Crisis Will Turn Minsk Into a Regional Airline Hub?

The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus. The national air carrier, Belavia​, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk...

23 October 2015
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Peaceful Elections as a Foreign Policy Tool

In October, the Belarusian foreign ministry worked hard to use the presidential elections as a tool to strengthen the positive trend in relations between Belarus and the West. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei managed not to miss this second chance,...