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Belarus-Iran: Noisy Friendship Without Real Results
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Belarusian State Oil Company “Belarusnafta” can no longer extract oil in Iran. According to official statements released this week the Iranian side decided that the Belarusian company had not fulfilled the contract's conditions and revoked its extraction permit. This...
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...

19 November 2010
Belarus Breaks Russia’s Energy Monopoly in Eastern Europe

21 October 2010
EU Shows Support for Belarusian Gov’t Before Elections

Amid tense waiting for presidential elections in Belarus and possible Russian attempts to influence the situation, 20 October, the President Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania...

19 October 2010
Venezuelan oil for Belarus

On October 16, the Belarusian and Venezuelan rulers had three-hour long talks behind closed doors in Minsk. Lukashenka thanked the Venezuelan leader...

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...

21 June 2010
To Engage or Not to Engage: The Policy Dilemma of Dealing with Belarus
To Engage or Not to Engage: The Policy Dilemma of Dealing with Belarus

How to deal with Belarus, along with the question of whether to engage or seek to isolate the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka has been a bone of contention in policy...

13 June 2010
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Belarus Not Worried about Losing Key National Companies

The news on a legal move by the Belarusian parliament to allow privatization of most profit-making public property objects – the Belaruskali Company and strategically important oil pipelines – generated little publicity. However, it is these assets that make...

5 June 2010
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Customs Union of Former Soviet Nations Fails Due to Total Absence of Mutual Trust

The post-Soviet integration and cooperation initiatives have an extremely unsuccessful track record. It seems that the problems persist. Recently, the very idea of Customs Union between Belarus, Russian Federation and Kazakhstan had been questioned, after the government of Belarus...

4 June 2010
Venezuela’s Oil May Help Belarus Make Friends
Venezuela’s Oil May Help Belarus Make Friends

This year Europe will purchase its first oil products from Venezuelan crude refined in Belarusian Mozyr. While Belarusian citizens have a hard time obtaining visas and traveling, Belarusian oil products traverse borders...

31 May 2010
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How Low Can Minsk Go for Cheaper Energy?

To lower the price of Russian energy Belarus has tried pleas, threats, promises, and blackmail. Minsk set lowering the cost of imported energy as a condition to joining the Customs Union with Russia...

25 May 2010
Customs Union: Economically Sound, Politically Harmful?
Customs Union: Economically Sound, Politically Harmful?

Russian business daily Vedomosti reported today that the Customs Union negotiated between Moscow, Minsk, and Astana may come into effect without Belarus. The paper quoted BNP Paribas official as saying that Kiev would...

18 May 2010
Walking in Bakiyev’s Shoes
Walking in Bakiyev’s Shoes

There is one thing many commentators on Belarus fail to understand. Alyaskandr Lukashenka has no geopolitical preferences. The Belarusian president will be friends with whomever is ready to support the survival and...

16 May 2010
(In)famous Belarusian Justice
(In)famous Belarusian Justice

Last week, two men were sentenced to death in Hrodna, Belarus. The previously convicted men have murdered three during an armed robbery. They have 10 days...

5 May 2010
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Ukraine Becomes More Important as a Factor in Belarusian-Russian Relations

In the last months Ukraine has significantly increased its importance in the European part of the CIS. The new president Viktor Yanukovych enjoys a honeymoon with Russia: Ukrainian-Russian cooperation has started booming after previous president Viktor Yushchenko had left...