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Selling Schengen Visas to Belarusians
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On 12 April, Filip Kaczmarek, the chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, stated that the EU can make Schengen visas more available for ordinary Belarusians even now. MEPs often say good things but unfortunately they have...
11 April 2013
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Belarusian Historians Struggle to Find Their Place

On 10 April, in an interview for Radio Svaboda Belarusian historian and a former lecturer at the European Humanities University Aleś Smalianchuk stated that Belarus did not have its own historical policy. His interview followed several politically-motivated dismissals...

6 March 2013
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Vilnius: the New Mecca for Belarusian Shoppers and Activists

On weekends, Vilnius looks like a Belarusian city. Cars with Belarusian registration plates, crowds of Belarusians carrying shopping bags, even bus schedules to Belarus from big shopping centres. In 2012, according to the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism, 400,000 Belarusian...

27 February 2013
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Belarus and Russia Prepare for the West – 2013 Military Drill

The planned Belarusian-Russian joint military drill, “West 2013”, has stirred up NATO member countries. The armed forces of both countries will hold the drill in the autumn, while some Polish and Lithuanian politicians have already discussed the threat of...

16 January 2013
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Sanctions vs Engagement: Is Belarus on the Western Agenda?

As the next summit of the Eastern Partnership to be held in Vilnius in fall 2013 is approaching, the long-standing discussion on strategy towards the Belarusian regime reemerges. Last week, two figures from the western world publicly voiced opposite...

16 November 2012
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Belarus Announces Pull Out from Latvian and Lithuanian Ports

Alexander Lukashenka announced a re-orientation of Belarusian export cargo streams from Latvian and Lithuanian ports to Russian ports. The announcement came on 9 November at a meeting with the Governor of Russia's Leningrad region.  Belarusian authorities have started a new round...

10 July 2012
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Independent Pollsters Will be Prosecuted – Belarus Politics Digest

Fines for unsanctioned polls. The House of Representatives approved in the first reading a bill of amendments, which would establish administrative liability for non-licensed public opinion surveys. The fine would in particular be established for “illegal” polls asking people about their opinion...

16 May 2012
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Belarus Plays the Border Security Card with the EU

In response to the EU sanctions policy, Belarus allegedly weakened border control at the Belarus-EU border recently. This puts in doubt Belarus' willingness to implement in the nearest future local border traffic agreements with western neighbours in full. It makes...

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,...

31 January 2012
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Belarus is The World’s Schengen Visa Champion

On January 23 Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronis Ažubalis stated that the EU should be more open towards ordinary Belarusians and increase pressure on the Belarusian regime. A year ago EU Commissioner Štefan Füle announced a “balanced approach” to overcome...

5 August 2011
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A Stab in the Back? Lithuania Leaks Information About Belarusian Activists

Yesterday Mikalay Khalezin, the head of the Belarus Free Theatre accused Lithuania of handing information about accounts of Belarusian activists and NGOs in Lithuanian banks to the Lukashenka regime. At first it was hard to believe what Khalezin wrote...

5 August 2011
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Prominent Belarus Activist Arrested – Civil Society & Politics Digest

The news of the week is yesterday's arrest of a prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky. The arrest reportedly followed release of information by Lithuanian Ministry of Justice to Belarus authorities about around 400 bank accounts of Belarusian...

21 May 2011
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Will the EU Countries Agree on a Common Reaction to the Political Situation in Belarus?

As the judgments against Belarusian opposition leaders and their campaigners have been delivered in Belarus during the last weeks, the reactions of the EU member states are less than concordant. While the EU considers including 13 more Belarusian officials to...