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Belarus Hopes To Cash In On Russian Sanctions
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Earlier this month, Russia introduced a full embargo on imports of meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the European Union (EU), United States, Australia, Canada and Norway. Moscow sought to retaliate for the sanctions imposed by the West following...
17 July 2014
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How to Make the ESSYB Scholarships More Effective? An OESS Alumnus Perspective

This autumn nearly 200 aspiring students will start their studies at different European universities with the support of the European Scholarship Scheme for Young Belarusians (ESSYB) managed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It provided them an excellent...

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...

17 June 2014
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Belarus Engages Europe, Maneuvering on Ukraine, Standstill with the US – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Alexander Lukashenka's policy on Ukraine has won him many sympathisers both in Belarus and Ukraine. In his interview with Serbian media, he has also claimed a certain level of improvement in relations between Belarus and the European Union. Belarus continues to...

30 April 2014
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Belarus Sets New EU Agenda, Calms Neighbours, Executes a Murderer – Western Press Digest

Western analysts see an opportunity, but also serious challenges to Belarus' ties with the West. The crisis in Ukraine may be an opening for the West to reconsider its position towards Belarus. Any changes in the West's ties in...

20 February 2014
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Belarus and the Outside World: From Isolation to Co-operation?

Few foreigners come to Belarus from the West. The Belarus-EU border itself appears to be tightly guarded, but the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius raised hopes for improved visa facilitation. Is Belarus at long last opening up? A typical summer...

13 December 2013
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The EU Helps Belarusians Sort Their Waste

On 13 December, a new waste sorting station will start working in the town of Masty in the Hrodna region. The European Union finances the project as a part of national programme for environmental protection in Belarus. Besides the waste management problem,...

29 November 2013
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EaP Summit in Vilnius: Weak But Positive Signals on Belarus

On 28-29 November Vilnius hosted the Third Eastern Partnership Summit. Uladzimir Makei, the Belarusian Minister for Foreign Affairs, took part in the event.  During the summit, Makei said that Belarus would start negotiations on visa regime liberalisation with the EU. It appears...

2 June 2013
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Belarus-EU: From Sanctions to an Unwanted Dialogue

On 29 May 2013, the Council of the EU withdrew all sanctions from former deputy editor of the newspaper "SB Belarus Today" Hanna Shadryna and two Belarusian companies - "Akvadiv" and "Sport-Pari". The next day, the MEPs discussed Justas...

27 May 2013
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Belarus Exports to the EU Sharply Decline

According to the latest data provided by the Belarusian Statistics Committee, the goods turnover between Belarus and the EU has fallen by 26% this year. The loss primarily results from Belarusian scheme of selling oil disguised as solvents, which Russia stopped back in 2012. Today, the Belarusian economy suffers...

2 May 2013
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EU Should Keep Belarus in Its Orbit

Last week Belarus Digest published an article about the problems of technical assistance to Belarus. The current piece recommends possible solutions to those problems. In the first place the EU should send a clear message to the Belarusian authorities that Belarus will be able...

26 April 2013
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Why EU Assistance Remains a Low Priority for Belarus Authorities

Despite European protests against human rights violations, the European Union continues to render technical assistance to Belarus. In 2012-2013, Belarus can get more than € 55m in the framework of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and the Eastern...

12 April 2013
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Do Belarusians Want to Join the EU?

On 2 March, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies presented a report on geopolitical preferences of Belarusians. The media paid little attention to the document presented by an influential Belarusian think-tank, although the conclusions of this report could be...

16 January 2013
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Sanctions vs Engagement: Is Belarus on the Western Agenda?

As the next summit of the Eastern Partnership to be held in Vilnius in fall 2013 is approaching, the long-standing discussion on strategy towards the Belarusian regime reemerges. Last week, two figures from the western world publicly voiced opposite...

18 January 2012
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The Reverse Effect of EU Sanctions

Last week Gunnar Wiegand from the European Commission announced that the EU was going to extend sanctions against Belarus. 135 more people may be added to the existing list of 208 Belarusian officials who are prohibited to visit the EU. Diplomatic sources...