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Human Rights Pariahs Support Belarus at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
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On 29 October, Belarusian diplomats had another verbal joust on the issue of human rights in New York. They managed to gather significant support from other international pariahs. However, the adoption of a UN resolution stating concern over the...
27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...

16 July 2015
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Belarus in the Eurasian Economic Union: Enough is Enough

Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei criticised cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union. Minsk is no longer hiding that its own position on the EU-led Eastern Partnership initiative starkly differs from Russia's stance on the issue. Although Minsk continues...

22 May 2015
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Belarus-China Relations: More Hype than Substance?

On 10-12 May, Chinese president Xi Jinping capped off his Eurasia trip with a visit to Minsk. As during his prior stops in Kazakhstan and Russia, the Chinese leader was sizing up the opportunities, as well as the risks,...

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...

7 April 2015
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Isolated Academia, Capital Punishment, and Lukashenka Speaks Up – Western Press Digest

The Belarusian head of state continues to raise his profile in the West, most recently in an interview with a major western press outlet. In the interview Lukashenka snubs Putin and says that a repeat of the events in...

6 February 2015
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Visa Liberalisation, Saving the Economy and Readying Defenses – Western Press Digest

Relations between Russia and Belarus appear to have taken a turn for the worse as the new year begins. As Belarus's economy stumbles, Minsk tries to shore up the Belarusian ruble while simultaneously blaming Moscow for some of its...

11 December 2014
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Belarus Reinstates Customs Control on the Border with Russia: the End of the Eurasian Union?

The new food war between Belarus and Russia may signal the end the Eurasian Economic Union. In early December Belarus and Russia unofficially resumed customs control on the border, which led to Belarus responding to a Russian imposed embargo...

24 October 2014
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The Unwanted Economic Union in Exchange for Money – Digest of the Belarusian Economy

The main economic events for October in Belarus revolve around Russia: the ratification of the Eurasian Economic Union, the continued fighting over the re-export of banned European foodstuffs to Russia, and, finally, an argument over Russia’s oil tax manoeuvre. Russia’s...

8 October 2014
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Belarus Threatens to Spoil the Inauguration of the Eurasian Economic Union

According to a leaked document published by TUT.BY this week, the Belarusian parliament will insert its own special clause when it ratifies the Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union. The clause will reserve the country’s right to ignore its treaty...

23 July 2014
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Belarusian Volunteers Join Ukraine Conflict on Both Sides

Earlier this month the Belarusian media put out a story on the Belarusian military unit Pahonia, which is training in the Valyń region of Ukraine in order to join Ukrainian army. Fighters did not reveal their names, fearing potential KGB...

30 June 2014
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Belarus-West Rapprochement Coming? Political Prisoner Bialiacki Released

On 21 June, the Belarusian authorities unexpectedly released one of its most prominent political prisoners, the head of the Viasna Human Rights Centre, Alieś Bialiacki. The EU, US, UN and OSCE welcomed the release as a positive step and called...

25 June 2014
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Belarus Strengthens its Bargaining Position in the Eurasian Economic Union

Lukashenka's administration believes that Belarus' participation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) does not restrict its ability to balance its interests between Russia and the West. Despite Russia's position, Belarus continues to participate in the Eastern Partnership. Belarus has even recognised the...

24 June 2014
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Will Russia Buy Up Belarus’ Defence and Oil Industries in 2014?

At a press conference on 11 June, Russian ambassador to Belarus, Aleksandr Surikov, announced that Russia had agreed with Belarus to acquire three Belarusian military and high-tech large-scale industrial complexes. Belarus has always been very reluctant to sell of its state property for various reasons,...

11 June 2014
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Eurasian Allies: Can Belarus Learn from Kazakhstan?

While the Kremlin has achieved its primary goal by launching the Eurasian Economic Union last month, the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan look unsatisfied. Both want to slow down the integration project's progress down and prevent it from spilling over...