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Closing Embassy in Israel, Engaging with Exotic Organisations – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
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Israel’s decision to close down its embassy in Minsk and the immediate response in kind by the Belarusian government are likely to undermine recent positive trends in bilateral relations between the two countries. Belarus has meanwhile sought to develop relations...
21 August 2015
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Belarus Engages Ukraine, Moldova, Improves Ties with EU and US – Foreign Policy Digest

The summer holidays proved to be productive for the relations of Belarus with both "old" and "new" Europe. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei ended a continued pause in high-level contacts with Belarus' southern neighbour by an unconventional five-day long visit to...

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...

13 July 2015
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Intensive Dialogue with Europe, South Asian and African Overtures – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has been making a desperate attempt to introduce its goods to new markets, hoping to compensate for declining exports to many of their traditional destinations, especially Russia. Over the past few weeks, Belarusian diplomats have concentrated their trade promotion...

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...

7 May 2015
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Will Lukashenka Mediate A Russian-Georgian Rapprochement?

On 22-24 April Aliaksandr Lukashenka paid his first official visit to Georgia in the history of his reign. Belarus and Georgia have maintained minimal economic and political ties over the years, mainly due to Russia’s confrontation with Georgia that...

20 April 2015
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Multi-Vector Diplomacy with Trade in Focus – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In the first weeks of April, Belarus focused on expanding its ties with Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Johannes Hahn, the EU "Neighbourhood" Commissioner has become one more senior EU official to visit Belarus in recent months. The last...

2 April 2015
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Belarus Engages with the US, Improves Ties with Europe and Post-Soviet Countries – Foreign Policy Digest

Belarusian diplomacy has been shifting the country's relations with the West into high gear seeking to capitalise on Belarus' newfound importance for regional stability. "The Europeans … are ready to cooperate with us, including for the sake of security in...

18 March 2015
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Holy See: Belarus is a Model for Our World

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, second in line in the Vatican hierarchy to Pope Francis, called an internationally ostracised Belarus a "model for our world". Visiting Minsk on 12-15 March, he also denounced the West's policy of isolation and promised to provide...

11 March 2015
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Russia Pushes For Single Visa Space, Belarus Resists

Russia is getting serious about the idea of creating a unified visa space with Belarus. On 3 March, Moscow brought in big guns when Vladimir Putin announced upcoming talks on an agreement providing for the mutual recognition of each country's...

5 March 2015
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Should Belarus Join the Council of Europe?

On 24-27 February, Andrea Rigoni, rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), visited Minsk for the first time since 2009. Rigoni has a reputation of being especially friendly toward the...

25 February 2015
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A ‘Nice Dialogue’ with Europe, Befriending Middle East Hardliners – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Shortly after welcoming French and German leaders to Minsk, Alexander Lukashenka received EU emissaries from Riga and Brussels. He reassured Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs of Belarus' interest in getting closer to Europe, primarily due to its technologies and...

11 February 2015
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Belarus Welcomes Top EU Leaders: A Rare Show

The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine agreed to hold peace talks in Minsk on Wednesday, 11 February, in an effort to avert a full-scale war in Ukraine. The last German and French leaders to visit Minsk were Adolph...

19 January 2015
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Belarus-EU Visa-Free Travel: An Unrealistic Prospect?

The EUobserver reported last week that Belarus might start talks over a visa-free regime with the EU, citing senior officials from the Latvian EU presidency. Many Belarusians reacted to this statement with expressions of surprise, satisfaction and hope,...

8 January 2015
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Belarusian Diplomacy in 2014: Laying the Groundwork for 2015?

In 2014, Belarus lost its title as Europe's last dictatorship and Minsk offered up its name for the peace process in Ukraine. Belarus' self-inflicted isolation from the international democratic community has been seriously eroded but not definitely broken. Belarus' response...