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Belarus struggles to control its borders
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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...

25 October 2016
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Analytical Paper: Belarus becomes neutral to survive

Ostrogorski Centre releases the first major publication on neutrality in Belarusian foreign and national security policy authored by Siarhei Bohdan and Gumer Isaev. This trend towards a real neutrality of Belarus increased in the past decade. For a long time...

24 October 2016
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Will Minsk revive the “post-Soviet NATO” at the behest of the Kremlin?

On 14 October, Belarus became the chair of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Taking over the chairmanship, Alexander Lukashenka stated that the CSTO needs to become “serious” in order to force the West to finally recognise the Russian-dominated...

19 October 2016
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Belarus-Russia disintegration, strengthening air force, Belarusian congress – Ostrogorski Centre digest

In October the Ostrogorski Centre participated in the Sixth International Congress of Belarusian Studies, the largest annual conference on Belarus in the social sciences and humanities. Its analysts presented analytical papers on Belarus-Russia disintegration and non-formal education in Belarus. It...

28 September 2016
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Belarus is preparing for a Donbass-like hybrid war conflict

On 14-20 September 2016 the Belarusian Armed Forces conducted large-scale military drills. Despite the fact that these military exercises were planned, they demonstrate a significant shift in security policy as Minsk increasingly takes into consideration possible risks and challenges from...

16 September 2016
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Negotiating gas prices, Olympic failure, engaging the diaspora – state press digest

Belarus struggles to obtain favourable oil and gas prices and considers alternative suppliers, as it has in the past with Venezuela and Azerbaijan. Belarus will host a mission from the IAEA and hold stress tests to satisfy Lithuanian concerns...

5 September 2016
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Brothers in arms: Russia in Belarus’s new military doctrine

On 20 July 2016 Belarus’s new military doctrine came into force. Although there was lively discussion about the contents of the new doctrine earlier this year, its text was not then public. Early speculation focused on officials’ references to...

1 September 2016
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Defence industry, academic autonomy, parliament recognition – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

Over the past month, analysts at the Ostrogorski Centre have discussed the rise of the Belarusian defence industry, the increase in dialogue between European and Belarusian parliamentarians, and prospects of real student self-government in Belarusian universities. The analysts extensively commented...

29 August 2016
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Belarus Develops Strategic Deterrence Capacities, Downshifts Air Force

On 22 August the Belarusian the defence ministry announced the purchase of trainer and light ground-attack aircraft and transport helicopters to modernise its Air Force. At first glance this unimpressive deal seems to contradict Minsk's recently announced ambitious plans...

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...

28 July 2016
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2016 Ostrogorski Forum: Can Belarus be Neutral in the Shadow of Russia?

On 29 June the Ostrogorski Centre held the first Ostrogorski Forum on foreign policy and security in Minsk. The theme of this year's conference was 'Inertia, strengthening neutrality or changing the foreign policy orientation? Foreign policy in Belarus at the...

12 July 2016
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John Silver: A New Political Prisoner in Belarus?

In June the Investigatory Committee of Belarus confirmed that Eduard Paĺčys, the editor of the website 1863x.com, was extradited from Russia and is undergoing criminal investigation. The website was known for its critical position towards Russian and Belarusian authorities, and...

20 May 2016
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US Missile-Defence System in Europe Increases Strategic Importance of Belarus

As NATO started to construct its European missile defence system, Moscow on 16 May held talks with Minsk on its planned response. “We have an identical approach to the missile defence system,” insisted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. His...

6 May 2016
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Belarusian arms industry struggles to survive under Kremlin pressure

On 25 April, Belarus ' State Military Industrial Committee announced that in the first quarter of 2016 its defence industrial enterprises had increased exports by 31 per cent compared to the previous year. Their net profit grew even more,...