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Belarus finally reaps tangible benefits from its neutrality policy
On 18-19 July, Belarus officially welcomed a delegation of European parliament, and Latvian foreign minister, who made rather positive statements on Minsk's policies. These developments continued the process of Belarus' rapprochement with the EU and other Western structures. A milestone...
17 July 2017
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals
Military parades in Belarus: displaying military might and annoying locals

Every year on 3 July in Minsk, Belarus traditionally conducts a military parade devoted to the official Independence Day. This year, however, the military parade triggered widespread discussions in the media. Just before the most recent parade, more than 9,000...

14 July 2017
Belarusian army aims to protect Russian airspace, not to atack other countries

Belarus's neighbours regularly voice their concerns about Minsk's role in a potential Russian invasion of the Baltic states or Ukraine. However, on 15 June, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka insisted that although Belarusian and Russian troops were operating in...

6 July 2017
Does Belarus really need Russian Su-30SM fighters?
Does Belarus really need Russian Su-30SM fighters?

On 20 June, during the 2017 Le Bourget international air show which took place near Paris, France, Belarus signed a contract for a batch of 12 Su-30SM fighters from Russia. The contract supposedly amounts to around $600m. The...

4 July 2017
New arms for Belarus and Russia’s military plans in the region
New arms for Belarus and Russia’s military plans in the region

On 20 June, Belarus signed a contract with the Russian Irkut corporation to purchase 12 Su-30SM fighter jets for $600m. This would be the largest ever arms deal between Minsk and Moscow. Earlier in June, Minsk also received its...

20 June 2017
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Is Belarus just ‘Greater Russia’? Neighbouring states dismiss Belarusian sovereignty

Despite all of Minsk's efforts to present itself as a neutral country, some of its neighbours doubt not only its neutrality but even its sovereignty and commitment to peace. On 5 June, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė described Belarus as...

19 June 2017
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Live: Ostrogorski Forum 2017. Belarus in the new environment: challenges to foreign policy, security, and identity after 2014

On 19 June 2017 the Ostrogorski Centre is holding a conference on the challenges to the Belarusian political and economic model in the new international environment, possible ways to prevent further deterioration and find solutions to major problems. The...

30 May 2017
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Belarusian defence industries: doubling exports and launching ballistic missile production

On 20-22 May, Milex-2017, an exhibition of defence equipment, took place in Minsk. It featured the first Belarusian ballistic missile. This recent success was one of many for the Belarusian defence industry. On 18 May, the Chairman of the...

24 May 2017
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Milex 2017: Belarus’s military exhibition – Belarus Photo Digest

On 20-22 May, Minsk hosted Milex 2017, its eighth exhibition of arms and military equipment. This year, the exhibition hosted more than 140 official guests from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. Military officials from more than 27 countries were...

18 May 2017
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Belarus seeking security cooperation with both Russia and the West: Mission possible?

On 9 May in Washington, in a presentation at the American think tank Atlantic Council, Belarusian deputy foreign minister Aleh Krauchanka emphasised the importance of Belarus-US security cooperation. Meanwhile, numerous Eastern European officials from Western-alligned nations made statements about...

21 April 2017
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Hazing in the Belarusian army

On 31 March, Arciom Basciuk, a soldier in the Belarusian army, committed suicide because of hazing. Less than a year earlier, another soldier shot himself during a military exercise for the same reason. Psychological pressure and the hierarchical structure...

24 March 2017
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The West-2017 Belarus-Russian military exercise: smaller than anticipated

During a meeting with defence minister Andrei Raukou on 20 March, president Alexander Lukashenka demanded 'absolute transparency' at the forthcoming West-2017 Belarusian-Russian military exercise. The Belarusian government is working to counter the negative repercussions of such a massive show...

13 March 2017
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Can Belarus keep a strong position on the global arms markets?

In 2012, Belarus became 18th out of the world's 20 leading arms exporters, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published last month. Despite this achievement, the situation of national arms industries remains precarious. Belarusian...

6 March 2017
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The Belarus-Russia conflict through the lens of the Gerasimov Doctrine

The recent visit of Alexander Lukashenka to Sochi on 15 - 26 February 2017, which did not include an audience with Vladimir Putin, casts the relationship between Minsk and the Kremlin in an ever more ambiguous light. Tensions between Belarus...

3 March 2017
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Belarus’s new Russian arms: what Minsk has given in exchange

In an interview published on 23 February, Belarusian defence minister Andrei Raukou announced the forthcoming purchases of state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. He specifically mentioned the Su-30SM fighter aircraft and 120mm Nona-M1 heavy mortars. Earlier, on 4 February, armament director of the...