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Getting the Travel Ban Right
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Lukashenka invites the West to participate in a "tug of war" with Russia. He wants to persuade the West that Belarus is significantly strengthening cooperation with Russia, and thus push the West towards cooperating on his terms: extension of...
25 November 2011
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The Land of Forgotten Heroes: Lenin vs Kosciuszko

For the Belarusian authorities, human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison yesterday, is a criminal. For a significant part of Belarusian society, he is a hero. Twenty years after the declaration...

23 November 2011
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The Hidden Problems of the EurAsian Union

On 18 November presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia met in Moscow and launched the Single Economic Space. They also signed the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Commission. If three countries ratify these acts in the near future, on 1 July 2012...

21 November 2011
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Who Rules Belarus?

Last summer over half of Belarusians polled by the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies said that Alyaksandr Lukashenka based his authority primarily on the police, the military and the KGB. A closer look at who actually runs the security...

16 November 2011
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Belarus-Russia: Optimistic Rhetoric and Unsolvable Contradictions

Last month Vladimir Putin published an article dedicated to the integration of the post-Soviet space in a major Russian daily, Izvestiya. Among other things, Putin underscored that Russia does not propose to restore the Soviet Union. However, he noted that...

11 November 2011
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Is the Customs Union Good for Belarus?

On 4 November Alyaksandr Lukashenka declared that Belarus and Russia were close to reaching a new agreement on natural gas supplies for 2012. He also expressed confidence about the probability of coming to an agreement with Russia on equal prices...

31 October 2011
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How to Please the “Russian Bear” – Belarus Politics Digest

Belarusian authorities intensified their efforts to please their Russian counterparts by publicly praising the idea of the Russia-dominated Eurasian Union. They also continued repression of political opponents. Several opposition activists involved in actions of solidarity with political prisoners were...

21 October 2011
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Belarusian Vice Prime Minister: The Situation In the Country Is a Shame

On Thursday Nadzeya Yermakova, chair of the Belarusian National Bank, unexpectedly admitted that the government has almost no gold or foreign currency reserves. The National Bank only has USD 1.2 billion. The rest – 3/4 of...

21 October 2011
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The Paper-Based Eurasian Union – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian analysts discuss new integration initiatives in the post-Soviet Space and the promise of Europe's Eastern Partnership. Other topics include Mink Gay Pride 2011, the profile of an average internet user in Belarus and the effect of proposed legislation...

15 September 2011
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The Russian Shoppers Are Coming

Thousands of shoppers from Russia cross the Belarusian border every day to buy large quantities of cheap Belarusian goods. Shopping in Belarus became very attractive after the Belarusian rouble lost over a half of its value in 2011.  Belarusian shops cannot...

8 September 2011
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Lukashenka Advocates Foreign Military Intervention Against Revolutions

While Belarusian authorities bitterly criticize NATO intervention in Libya, they actively advocate the idea of foreign troops helping post-Soviet dictators remain in power.  Since July Belarusian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has sought to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). He...

17 August 2011
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Unwanted Privatization

Last week Russia's President Vladimir Putin reiterated that privatisation of state enterprises is a necessary precondition for further financial support. The International Monetary Fund also insists on privatization in its recommendations. But many in Belarus - both in the...

3 August 2011
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Vladimir Putin Plays with the Old Imperial Nostalgia

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a provocative statement at a pro-Kremlin youth forum this week. When asked about Belarus and Russia becoming a single state, following the USSR model, the former president said: "It is possible, very desirable...

29 July 2011
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Digest of Belarusian Analytics: More Protests Will Follow As The Crisis Deepens

Belarusian analysts discuss the reasons for decline in the "silent revolution" and the future effects of the deepening economic crisis in Belarus. Most analysts agree that Belarus economic and political system will undergo a stress test this autumn, which...

24 July 2011
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Belarus Opposition Struggles to Gain from Lukashenka’s Losses

The decline in Belarusians' income led to the corresponding reduction of Lukashenka’s rating. However, the regime's opponents' popularity did not grow significantly. The Independent Institute for Social, Economic, and Political Studies conducted a sociological survey in Belarus last month. According...