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The Belarusian army: scaled down but better trained and autonomous
On 15 December, the Belarusian army’s media outlet, VaenTV, reported of tank units training to shoot at an unusually long distance—six kilometres. Few post-Soviet armies use this ‘high angle fire’ method, said VaenTV. The news illustrates one of the ways the Belarusian...
7 December 2017
Minsk silently builds a new army

On 1 December, Minsk made public an agreement with Russia to supply a joint regional group of Belarusian and Russian troops. In return, Russia’s Defence Ministry has committed to providing Belarus with necessary equipment and arms in times of “increasing...

20 November 2017
International support grows for Belarusian peacekeepers in Ukraine

At a press conference on 17 November 2017 in Minsk, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel described his meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka, in which they “talked a lot about Ukraine,” in positive terms. The upbeat summary is a...

1 September 2017
Minsk struggling to reassure its neighbours about the West-2017 military exercises

At a press briefing on 29 August, Aleh Belakoneu, Head of the Belarusian General Staff, promised that by 30 September all Russian troops participating in the West–2017 Belarusian-Russian military exercises would leave the territory of Belarus. He also emphasised...

21 August 2017
West 2017, Belarus-China, Mahilioŭ region study – digest of Belarusian analytics

Belarus in Focus: Minsk will show a lot but not everything in West 2017 military drills. Yauheni Preiherman analyses strategic advances and economic hopes of Belarus-China relations. Grigory Ioffe: Belarus’s independent voice is growing louder. IPM Research Center’s macroeconomic...

25 July 2017
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...

20 May 2017
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Belarus and One Belt, One Road, alternative oil, SCTO – Belarus state press digest

At the One Belt, One Road summit in Beijing, Lukashenka suggested that the project could be used not only as a trading route, but also as a basis for promoting ideas and creating joint innovations. ​ According to foreign minister...

11 April 2017
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Belarus has obtained gas and oil concessions from Russia: but what did Russia get in exchange?

After a meeting with Alexander Lukashenka on 3 April in Saint Petersburg, Vladimir Putin announced that all oil and gas issues between the two countries had been resolved. The media in Belarus reported on the Kremlin's concessions extensively. However, what...

16 January 2017
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Saving Europe’s security architecture – Belarus foreign policy digest

Belarus’s diplomatic activities slowed down before the holidays in December. The country’s diplomacy focused mostly on a multilateral agenda in preparation for its chairmanship of the Central European Initiative, as well as manoeuvring at the United Nations. Foreign minister Vladimir...

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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Ostrogorski Centre: 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...

20 April 2016
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Belarus-Turkey Rapprochement: Minsk Refuses to Fight for Kremlin and its Allies

On 14-15 April Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka took part in the Istanbul summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This trip triggered another wave of derisory criticism in the Russian media. Even Kommersant​, the liberal Russian daily, wrote about...

11 March 2016
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Playing East And West, Cooperation with Pakistan and Thailand, First Belarusian Billionaire – Western Press Digest

Western media focuses on the EU decision to abolish most sanctions and extend others, and accuses Belarus of playing “both sides” for advantage. In other news: Belarusian missile site modernisation near NATO border, Lithuanian sentenced for spying for Belarus, lack...

15 May 2015
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Chinese Missiles, CSTO, Belarusian Air Force – Belarus Security Digest

China is gradually replacing Russia in the security arena for Belarus. The programme of development for the domestic UAVs is well under way. The national Air Force has received four combat Yak-130 training aircraft, all manufactured in Russia. Despite the difficulties...

10 March 2015
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Belarus-Kyrgyzstan Tensions Rise after the Murder of Kyrgyz Mobster in Minsk

On 18 February, Kyrgyz crime boss Almanbet Anapiyaev was found dead in a car boot in Minsk, an event that heated up tensions between Minsk and Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan claims that former Kyrgyz president Bakiev and his retinue are responsible for...