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Belarus and Moldova: cooperation despite opposing geopolitical orientations
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On 6-7 May, Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip held a supercharged working visit to Belarus, meeting with the country’s top officials, kicking off several events, and discussing a wide range of issues, from trade to culture. Despite serious recent setbacks...
19 April 2017
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Belarus – Turkmenistan: the end of a success story?

On 30-31 March, talks were held in Ashgabat between Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenka. The launch of the $1bn Garlyk potash fertiliser plant which Belarus built in the country differentiated this encounter from other such...

16 March 2017
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Minsk alludes to ‘shared values’ with Europe as Brussels downplays repression – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Security services have so far detained over 150 protesters following mass rallies in Belarus. Many were arrested or fined, and some were beaten. However, the authorities' return to mass repression of the opposition has provoked a muted reaction from Western...

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...

10 February 2016
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Closing Embassy in Israel, Engaging with Exotic Organisations – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

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...

15 December 2015
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Strengthening Links with Autocratic Friends – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Despite his regained ability to travel to Europe, President Alexander Lukashenka’s 'social circle' has so far remained limited to leaders of countries that have difficulties in their relations with Western democracies. In the past month, the Belarusian president has become...

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...

4 December 2015
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2015 Annual Report, Russian Airbase, Economic Reforms – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

The economy of Belarus shows a long-term negative trend. The need for structural reforms looks obvious even within the elite, and this need for structural reforms is desired especially by international creditors. In the political and military realm, Minsk...

3 December 2015
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Belarus and the Declining Eurasian Economic Union

The first year of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has highlighted how differently Russia and Belarus see this integration project. While Russia tries to create something resembling for the external audience the European Union and for the internal audience Soviet...

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...

10 August 2015
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Belarus and the Ukraine Conflict: More Losses Than Gains?

Although the Belarusian authorities have managed to promote their country in a favourable light by hosting the high-level talks on Ukraine, they seriously worry about the direct spill-over of the Ukrainian conflict.​ Belarus has already suffered economic losses from the...

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...

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,...

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...