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Opinion: four Russian instruments of control over Belarus
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Many observers have noted that Belarus is slowly drifting towards the West and away from Russia. This is corroborated by experts, results of independent opinion polls, and the intensity of contacts between Belarus and the European Union. Russia retains...
16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

1 August 2016
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Analytical paper: Belarus-Russia relations after the Ukraine conflict

Since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict began, the Kremlin has persistently tried to expand its control over Belarus, a process that has had quite the opposite effect as Belarusian government policy became more independent in 2014-2015. There has always existed a paradox...

23 May 2016
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EU and Belarus: All Politics to Be Gradual

After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement. Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this...

22 March 2016
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Testing the Waters: High-Level EBRD Delegation Visits Belarus

The removal of sanctions against Belarus earlier this year has led to increased interest from institutional investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Alain Pilloux, Acting Vice President of this major development bank visited Belarus last...

18 March 2016
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Why Belarus KGB Detained the Country’s Former Top Businesman

On 11 March, the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) detained Yury Chyzh, one of Belarus' richest businessmen who used to be on friendly terms with President Alexander Lukashenka. The European Union once viewed him as "Lukashenka's purse" and he was...

19 February 2016
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Anti-Reform Camp Wins, Analytical Papers – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

In February Ostrogorski Centre (OC) analysts commented on the lifting of EU sanctions, Belarus' new military doctrine and the economic challenges the Belarusian government is facing amid the deepest crisis since 1990s. As the repercussions of the continuing economic crisis...

3 February 2016
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New Belarusian military doctrine responds to Putin’s policies

On 22 January, President Alexander Lukashenka approved changes to Belarus' military doctrine. This document reveals fundamental changes in the mindset of the Belarusian establishment. Learning Ukrainian lessons, Minsk is putting issues of military security at the top of its...

3 February 2016
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Thawing Relations with the West, Market Traders Protest New Imports Rules – Western Press Digest

Western media focuses on the lifting of sanctions on Belarus by the West, Belarus’s rejection of plans for a Russian air base and heralds the thawing of relations with the West. Observers seem to agree that the temporary sanctions suspension...

2 February 2016
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Russian Media Attack Belarus: Minsk Remains on the Kremlin Radar

Several months after the October presidential elections in Belarus, conservative and Kremlin-affiliated Russian media and commentators have again turned their attention to Belarus. They warn of an alleged rise in "Russophobia" in Belarus, and criticise the West for plotting to...

4 December 2015
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2015 Annual Report, Russian Airbase, Economic Reforms – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

The economy of Belarus shows a long-term negative trend. The need for structural reforms looks obvious even within the elite, and this need for structural reforms is desired especially by international creditors. In the political and military realm, Minsk...

20 November 2015
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Russia Would Rather Cut Pensions than Subsidies to Belarus – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian experts discussed Russian subsidies, economic reforms, which the government will have to implement and the challenges of their implementation. Other topics include human rights violations in July-September, coverage of the 2015 presidential elections in state media and the state...

2 November 2015
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Editorial: Why the EU Lifts Belarus Sanctions

On Saturday the suspension of most European Union targeted sanctions against Belarus came into effect. The sanctions were suspended ​“in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations”....

22 October 2015
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Critisism of Russia, Alexievich, Belarusians in Antarctica – State Press Digest

Belarus  Digest launches a regular series of publications reviewing Belarusian state newspapers. In the first publication of the series, Belarus has taken further steps to confirm its independence vis-a-vis Russia. Pro-government experts in Minsk have criticised the Russian elite...

25 September 2015
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EU considers Lifting Sanctions, Putin’s Proposed Airbase – Western Press Digest

Putin’s announcement of a Russian air base in Belarus dominated western media in September. Western media see the declaration as further support of Russian expansion. Other significant news: The EU might lift sanctions after Lukashenka freed 6 political prisoners. A...