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Siarhei Bohdan
Siarhei Bohdan
Siarhei Bohdan is an associate analyst at the Ostrogorski Centre. He defended his doctoral thesis in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany and is also an alumnus of Belarus State University and European Humanities University in Lithuania. In 1999-2011, he worked with Nasha Niva, a Belarusian independent weekly. Siarhei comes from Maladechna, Belarus.
18 May 2017
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Belarus seeking security cooperation with both Russia and the West: Mission possible?

On 9 May in Washington, in a presentation at the American think tank Atlantic Council, Belarusian deputy foreign minister Aleh Krauchanka emphasised the importance of Belarus-US security cooperation. Meanwhile, numerous Eastern European officials from Western-alligned nations made statements about...

8 May 2017
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Minsk and Kyiv successfully revive bilateral relations after a dramatic fallout

On 1 May, Ukrainian border guards prevented three Belarusian citizens from entering Ukraine, suspecting them of planning subversive activities in Ukraine. A month earlier, Belarusian security agencies had detained several Ukrainian citizens for alleged plans to undermine public order...

26 April 2017
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Minsk wants China’s help countering Russian and Western pressure

Next month, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenka will head for China. While he remains isolated in the West, this will be his tenth visit to Beijing. Addressing the Belarusian parliament on 21 April, Lukashenka gave much attention to Belarusian-Chinese relations...

11 April 2017
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Belarus has obtained gas and oil concessions from Russia: but what did Russia get in exchange?

After a meeting with Alexander Lukashenka on 3 April in Saint Petersburg, Vladimir Putin announced that all oil and gas issues between the two countries had been resolved. The media in Belarus reported on the Kremlin's concessions extensively. However, what...

6 April 2017
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Belarus’s plan to import Iranian and Azerbaijani oil: how serious is Minsk?

On 3 April, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka succeeded in securing concessions from Vladimir Putin following a year-long oil and gas dispute between the two countries. In order to reach a deal, Minsk put the idea of buying oil from...

24 March 2017
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The West-2017 Belarus-Russian military exercise: smaller than anticipated

During a meeting with defence minister Andrei Raukou on 20 March, president Alexander Lukashenka demanded 'absolute transparency' at the forthcoming West-2017 Belarusian-Russian military exercise. The Belarusian government is working to counter the negative repercussions of such a massive show...

13 March 2017
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Can Belarus keep a strong position on the global arms markets?

In 2012, Belarus became 18th out of the world's 20 leading arms exporters, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published last month. Despite this achievement, the situation of national arms industries remains precarious. Belarusian...

3 March 2017
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Belarus’s new Russian arms: what Minsk has given in exchange

In an interview published on 23 February, Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou announced the forthcoming purchases of state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. He specifically mentioned the Su-30SM fighter aircraft and 120mm Nona-M1 heavy mortars. Earlier, on 4 February, armament director of the...

20 February 2017
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Moscow erects border with Belarus, undermines its links with Ukraine and the Baltics

On 16 February, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, announced that the Kremlin does not plan to introduce a visa regime with Belarus. His statement comes in a context of increasingly harsh measures on behalf of Moscow towards Belarus...

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...

4 November 2016
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Belarus struggles to control its borders

On 13 October Belarusian border guards received EU-funded special equipment worth €2.5m. This will help Minsk control the Ukrainian border. There is an element of irony in this: although it works to remove borders within the EU, Brussels is...

24 October 2016
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Will Minsk revive the “post-Soviet NATO” at the behest of the Kremlin?

On 14 October, Belarus became the chair of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Taking over the chairmanship, Alexander Lukashenka stated that the CSTO needs to become “serious” in order to force the West to finally recognise the Russian-dominated...

12 October 2016
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Thwarting plans for a Russian airbase, Minsk strengthens its air force

On 1 October the investigative platform Bellingcat reported that Russia has withdrawn its fighter jets from Belarus. After analysing satellite images, it found no Russian planes on the Baranavichy ​airbase. Bellingcat also found that they had not been redeployed...

30 September 2016
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Does Belarus have its own missile programme?

On 26 September Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou met with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Given the current security concerns of Baku, it's possible that Belarus may have rushed to offer it some means to help neutralise the Iskander missiles...

29 August 2016
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Belarus Develops Strategic Deterrence Capacities, Downshifts Air Force

On 22 August the Belarusian the defence ministry announced the purchase of trainer and light ground-attack aircraft and transport helicopters to modernise its Air Force. At first glance this unimpressive deal seems to contradict Minsk's recently announced ambitious plans...