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Human rights in Belarus: can dialogue work?
This July, the European Union and Belarus held their 4th round of bilateral dialogue on human rights in Brussels. The parties focused on civil, political, and social rights in both Belarus and Europe. Belarus hopes to put human rights...
25 May 2017
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Pakistan: Belarus’s ‘new best friend’ in South Asia

On 14 May, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met at the One Belt, One Road Forum in Beijing. This became the two leaders’ fourth encounter since May 2015. Indeed, as Sharif said at the meeting,...

3 November 2016
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Trade and geopolitics to counterbalance Russia – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

With the summer holiday period finally over, Belarusian diplomacy has gone into overdrive. In September – October, Belarusian officials spoke with representatives of over thirty nations, ranging from deputy foreign ministers to heads of state. Poland has transformed from being...

30 August 2016
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Testing the Limits of Investment Crisis – Belarus Economy Digest

On 25 August 2016 the National Statistic Committee of Belarus (Belstat) publicised new macroeconomic data for July, which showed that the economy is suffering from a lack of investment flows. Meanwhile, according to the National Bank of Belarus the continuing...

5 August 2016
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Is Belarus-China Cooperation a Pipe Dream?

On 20 June 2016 Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka held a meeting with vice-chairman and president of the Chinese CITIC Group Corporation Wang Jiong. The meeting seems particularly significant in light of Lukashenka’s planned visit to China in September 2016. The...

14 July 2016
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Disgrace or Promotion? Kiryl Rudy Goes to China

In July 2016, president Alexander​ Lukashenka appointed two new ambassadors – to China and to Georgia. A few days earlier, several sources had reported that the president’s aide on economic issues – Dr. Kiryl Rudy – was to become the...

9 March 2016
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Gas Rebate, New Silk Road, Treasure Hunting – Belarus State Press Digest

The Belarusian authorities are putting all their energy into combating the deepening economic crisis. They have released corrupt officials sentenced to prison terms and appointed them to manage bankrupt state enterprises. The government is seeking solutions to the problem of...

27 January 2016
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Belarusian Diplomacy in 2015 – Annual Foreign Policy Digest

On 6 January, the Belarusian foreign ministry published an annual review of Belarus’ foreign policy (in Russian only). The document, in bureaucratic lingo, tediously reports on the ministry’s achievements and activities in 2015. Belarus Digest offers its own subjective...

8 December 2015
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Belarus and Zimbabwe Aim at “Mega Deals”

Belarus steps up its cooperation with Zimbabwe in sectors ranging from agriculture to mining. In mid-November, The Herald, a government-owned leading Zimbabwean daily, triumphantly reported the “nod” granted by the country’s President Robert Mugabe to a number of investment deals...

7 December 2015
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New Military Doctrine in Belarus

On 15 November, Belarusian Defence Minister Andrej Raŭkoŭ appeared on Belarusian Television to discuss a new military doctrine, which he attributed to the arms buildup in neighbouring NATO states surrounding Belarus. This article explores the background and content — insofar...

14 September 2015
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China as An Epic Failure of Belarusian Foreign Policy

On Friday, President Lukashenka announced that the promised Chinese loan of $7billion would help Belarus cope with the current crisis. A week before this announcement, he had gone to China for his eighth visit to Beijing. Is Belarus succeeding in...

28 July 2015
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Belarus Discovers Its Eurasian Side

In July, Belarus launched a diplomatic offensive to build ties with regional superpowers like China, India and Brazil seeking to counterbalance the much-publicised overtures its has been making to the West. The BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia, provided Lukashenka with...

24 July 2015
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Will an Economic Downturn Cause Unrest Ahead of Elections?

On 2 July Belarus witnessed a rather unusual show – 200 Chinese workers marched dozens of kilometres towards the city of Homiel in protest against wage arrears and poor working conditions. These foreign workers are currently employed by the...

29 May 2015
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Both an EU Partner and Russia’s Satellite? – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Two of the main events in Belarus' diplomatic life in May were China's presidents visit to Minsk and Belarus' participation in the Eastern Partnership summit – both of which have fitted well into Minsk' foreign policy priorities. These priorities include...

27 May 2015
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Fears of Economic Turmoil, Banking Sector Problems – Belarus Economy Digest

According to the press release published by International Monetary Fund on 19 May the possible losses for the Belarusian economy in 2015 will amount 2.3 per cent of the GDP and $2bn of its foreign exchange reserves. The consequences of...