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Schengen visa facilitation: jeopardised by fear of migrants?
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Recent statements by Belarusian officials have confirmed that the country's citizens should not expect a more liberal visa regime with Europe in the foreseeable future. Belarus's decision to introduce a conditional visa-free regime for nationals of eighty countries, many...
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...

5 November 2015
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Human Rights Pariahs Support Belarus at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

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...

3 November 2015
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The Ukraine Crisis Will Turn Minsk Into a Regional Airline Hub?

The suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia on 25 October has created a new opportunity for Belarus. The national air carrier, Belavia​, and the national aviation authorities reacted quickly by increasing aircraft capacity on the routes between Minsk...

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...

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...

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...

1 November 2013
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Global Dialogue on Integration, Poverty in the EU – Belarus State TV Digest

Over the last week state TV channel 1 reported on the top-level meetings of the member states of the Eurasian Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which recently took place in Minsk. Alexander Lukashenka urged Tbilisi to return to the CIS...

1 August 2012
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The Secret of Lukashenka’s Popularity in the Former Soviet Union

Alexander Lukashenka's high ratings in the post-Soviet space are far less publicised than his disapproval in the West. But the fact remains: the President of Belarus is rather popular in the former Soviet republics. He is liked for appearing...

19 December 2010
Belarus: from Democracy to Dictatorship through Elections

Charismatic Alyaksandr Lukashenka was elected 1994, when Belarus had its first and so far the only relatively free presidential elections. Lukahsenka won giving promises of...

17 July 2010
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Kremlin’s Plan of Taming Lukashenka Goes Ahead

After June’s gas dispute and Russian enforcing Belarus to join the Customs Union, political tension between Minsk and Moscow persists, taking ever new turns and twists. Belarusian leadership retaliated for the film about Lukashenka shown on Gazprom-controlled NTV by...

3 July 2010
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Russia Is Not Willing to Pay for its Imperial Prestige

This week, after a bitter gas transit conflict with Belarusian government, Russian Gasprom declared that preliminary gas prices for Belarus next year should be about USD 250. Now it pays 185 dollars. Even some naïve oppositional analysts welcomed what...

7 June 2010
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Belarus Stays Outside EU Enlargement Agenda Even in Theory

The European Union has committed to the long-term strategy of integration of the Balkan states of former Yugoslavia and Albania as its members. At the same time Belarus remains untouched by European integration. This means that the EU border...