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How geopolitics increases the heft of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus
During mass on 1 November, Catholic Metropolitan Tadevuš Kandrusievič called the 1917 October Revolution in Russia an “existential disaster,” which brought immense suffering to Belarus. He noted that Belarus still celebrates the revolution date as a public holiday, while...
3 October 2017
Belarus-Russian military exercises: the story still not over?

On 28 September, the last train filled with Russian troops that had participated in the West-2017 military exercises reportedly left Belarus. Some hours later, however, Commander–in–Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko disputed the news. He claimed only a few Russian...

7 August 2017
Redrawing the geopolitical map: Belarus and its neighbours connect the Black and Baltic seas

Belarus and Poland are advancing a project to connect the Black and Baltic Seas via the E40 waterway. The 2,000 km-long waterway will run through rivers and canals in Belarus, Ukraine, and Poland and provide better access to seaports...

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...

22 February 2017
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Chechens struggle to enter the EU through Belarus

Since late summer 2016, a small-scale refugee crisis has been unfolding at the Belarusian-Polish border near Brest, as several thousand Chechen refugees attempt to make their way into Poland. They are mainly seeking political asylum in the EU, claiming that...

6 January 2017
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Belarus prepares to expand its visa-free zone

In October-December 2016, almost 2,000 tourists took advantage of new visa-free regulations to visit Hrodna Region. In response to the increasing amount of foreign tourists, Hrodna Region has started working on two important initiatives: visa-free railway voyages and launching...

27 December 2016
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Education event in Minsk, call for London conference, Belsat, Astraviec NPP – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In December, analysts of the Ostrogorski Centre discussed Belarus' vote at the UN General Assembly, ongoing tension between Belarus and Lithuania over the Astraviec NPP, and the situation of Belsat TV. On 13 December the Ostrogorski Centre and the Embassies...

21 December 2016
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US investments, arrest of anti-Belarusian journalists, corruption – Belarus state press digest

Belarus aims to expand its cooperation with Malaysia and hosts another high-level visit from Poland. The Belarusian delegation visits the US to discuss economic cooperation and investment with state agencies and corporations. The authorities arrest three Belarus-based journalists from the...

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'...

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...

26 October 2016
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Oil and gas dispute settled, projects with Poland, Chechen refugees – state press digest

Belarus establishes closer political and economic links with Asian countries hoping to boost exports. Lukashenka urges CSTO members to elaborate a new development strategy and attain recognition from global players. The Belarusian Parliament ratifies the Convention on the Rights of...

24 August 2016
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Renaissance of Political Parties, Eurasian Currency, Palanez Rocket Launchers – State Press Digest

Political parties see a renaissance during the ongoing parliamentary campaign, as 64% of all candidates are party affiliated. However, society still has only a vague understanding of the role parties play in the Belarusian political system. The Polish vice speaker...

4 August 2016
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The First Ostrogorski Forum, Seminar at BSU, Belarus-Poland Relations – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

This summer Ostrogorski Centre analysts have analysed developments in Belarus-Poland relations, life of regional media and the case of a new potential political prisoner. The Centre also published a major study of Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict. In July the...

2 August 2016
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Ignore OSCE, Private Farming, Cooperation with Poland – State Press Digest

A Polish expert advises Belarus to ignore OSCE recommendations, as they are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the modern political context. Belarus's new military doctrine shifts its focus from external threats to preventing regime change due to provoked internal conflicts. President...

9 June 2016
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Threats to Belarus, Ukrainian Border, Cooperation with Kazakhstan – Belarus Security Digest

Minsk wants to maintain its own position in the latest confrontation between NATO and Russia in the region. Various Belarusian officials state that they see no immediate threat to Belarus from NATO, but rather from a possible internal conflict...