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Brian Bennett on his Belarus Book, Sanctions and Talking to the Russians
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Belarus Digest continues to interview former ambassadors to Belarus on their work in Belarus.  Brian Bennett served as the ambassador to of the United Kingdom in 2003-2007. He recently published a book on the country "The Last Dictatorship...
11 May 2012
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European Dialogue on Modernization: Last Chance to Reform Belarus?

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka highlighted the need to modernise the Belarusian economy in his annual speech for the national Parliament on 8 May. These words coincide with a goal of the new EU project "Dialogue on Modernization for Belarus"....

2 May 2012
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EU Support, Modernisation and Russia’s Interests – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusians have become less interested in the pro-European vector of development as the influence of Russia in the country grows. Belarusian analysts hope that Stefen Fulle's European Dialogue on Modernisation with Belarus will soon become meaningful and that the...

30 April 2012
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Belarus Economy: More Stable But Still Fragile

International agency Standard&Poors in April increased Belarus' credit rating from B- (negative) to B (stable). The agency i observed the signs of financial stabilisation in Belarus economy. Although inflation is still very high, it began to slow down, the...

27 April 2012
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Belarus Trapped Into Eurasian Integration

The Ambassadors of Poland, Lithuania and Sweden have returned to Minsk and their colleagues are on the way to the Belarusian capital. It seems that EU-Belarus relations have broken the deadlock, but they remain difficult and the EU has...

25 April 2012
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A Test of Opportunity for Ukraine and Belarus: Elections in 2012

The two largest states on the EU’s eastern borders, Ukraine and Belarus, will be holding parliamentary elections this autumn. They are being held at a particularly low point in relations with the EU. Few are optimistic about the outcome. Nonetheless,...

15 April 2012
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Political Prisoners in Belarus: How to Break the Vicious Circle

Former Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov and his main campaign aide Dzmitry Bandarenka have been released from prison on the eve of the Christian Orthodox Easter. It looks like the first step in the de-escalation of the worst EU-Belarus...

11 April 2012
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How the EU and Lukashenka Keep Belarusians Out of Europe

Belarusians are the most travel-restricted nation in Europe. Both their own government and the European Union seem to be determined not to let them out.   The Belarusian authorities prevent leading opposition activists, students and state bureaucrats from travelling to...

11 April 2012
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Faces of Belarusian Politics: The Faceless Makey

The oppositional analysts used to hope that the head of the Presidential Administration of Belarus Uladzimir Makey would establish better relations with the West. His background created the impression of a sophisticated politician familiar with the West. He made it to the...

9 April 2012
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How Can Belarusian Authorities Retaliate Against the EU Sanctions?

Last month for the first time ever, the EU introduced sanctions against a number of companies, which supply oil refinery products to EU countries. It means that there is still a possibility of expansion of painful economic sanctions against Lukashenka's regime. There is no...

8 April 2012
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Russia and the Travel Ban, EU Ambassadors Return, Political Prisoners – Politics and Civil Society Digest

​While Moscow has confirmed that those on the Belarus authorities' exit ban list will be unable to leave Russia either, official Minsk started to show willingness to release prisoners. It was also hinted that Belarusian Ambassadors to Brussels and...

4 April 2012
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Belarus-Lithuania Relations: Pragmatism Despite Politics

Belarusians and Lithuanians have a long common history which started long before the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 500 years ago. Two nations followed clearly divergent paths only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When Lukashenka came to power,...

3 April 2012
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Lukashenka Caught Between Russia and a Hard Place – Western Press Digest

The flaring diplomatic breakdown between Belarus and the EU and closer ties with Russia have dominated Western press coverage over the last month. Analysts offer mixed views about the significance of the row for the geopolitical balance between the...

29 March 2012
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Opinion: Why the Eastern Partnership Fails to Reach Belarus

Although formally a member of the Eastern Partnership (EaP), unfortunately Belarus does not participate in any of its programmes. It is excluded from visa liberalisation, the EaP flagship initiatives, and bilateral track programmes: for example, the Small and Medium-Size Enterprise...

28 March 2012
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Collateral Damage of the EU-Belarus Diplomatic War

The EU Council of Ministers recently introduced new restrictive measures against Belarusian businessmen and 29 companies that allegedly support the Belarusian regime. It is the first time the EU added so many Belarusian enterprises to its ban list. European...