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Belarus finally reaps tangible benefits from its neutrality policy
On 18-19 July, Belarus officially welcomed a delegation of European parliament, and Latvian foreign minister, who made rather positive statements on Minsk's policies. These developments continued the process of Belarus' rapprochement with the EU and other Western structures. A milestone...
23 August 2016
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A Final Blow to Independent Sociology in Belarus?

On 31 July 2016, Belarusian TV broadcast a “special report,” accusing the IISEPS (Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies) of fraud and fabrication of results. Soon thereafter, the founder of IISEPS, Aleh Manaeŭ​, stated that his organisation would cease...

10 May 2016
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Victory Day: Between Remembrance and Militant Memory

9 May 2016 in Minsk started with a procession “Belarus Remembers,” which marched through the heart of the city, carrying pictures of the veterans. Too frail to walk over longer distances, they joined the procession at the Victory Square for...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

26 November 2014
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Pro-Russian Groups Become More Active in Belarus

On 9 November 2014 in Pastavy - a city in the Vitebsk Region of Belarus – members of the Holy Rus' Movement distributed flyers with a call for the unification of the 'Russian World'. Many similar events and military...

16 July 2014
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Belarus in World Rankings: Strong Potential, Weak Performance

The most well-known international indexes show that Belarus is maintaining the potential of its people, although its governance, economy, political and economic freedoms remain at a very low level. Belarus has had a rather good showing in the UNDP Human...

30 January 2014
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Recent IISEPS Polls: Belarusian Society Slowly Matures

In early January 2014 the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) published its December 2013 poll results for various domains of public opinion. Though some people, including opposition politicians and activists, doubt this institute's ability to handle a proper social...

9 January 2014
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Belarus On the Russian Energy Needle

This year, Russia agreed to supply Belarus with discounted oil only for the next six months, rather than for the whole year. The size and conditions for further shipments will depend on Belarus’ participation in specific integration projects and the sale of several companies to Russia....

28 October 2013
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Lithuania’s EU Presidential Policy – A New Approach towards Belarus?

The Lithuania’s six month European Union presidency which started in July has led to talk of a new Eastern policy. Lithuania wants to keep EU enlargement on the European agenda, showing Eastern neighbours that the European Union wants enlargement. It acts...

18 September 2013
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Lukashenka’s Prize, $100 Exit Fee Contested, Belarusian Programmers – Western Press Digest

Belarusian programmers are a hot commodity on the international market. Belarusian ruler Alexandr Lukashenka and the state police of Belarus were awarded the Ig Noble Peace Prize for 2013. A Belarusian physician who criticised the government on youtube says...

1 July 2013
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Why Belarus Keeps Capital Punishment

On 27 June 2013, ​at the session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Belarusian authorities stated that Belarus would not abolish the death penalty and will continue to shoot convicts. Western demands to impose a moratorium seem to...

14 June 2013
Analytical Paper: Optimising EHU’s Impact on Belarus

The European Humanities University (EHU) was forced into exile in 2004 when the Belarusian authorities withdrew its licence. This followed the EHU’s refusal to acquiesce to government pressure to change its leadership. The exiled University found its new home...

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...

22 April 2013
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How Far Is Belarusian Education from European Standards?

"Belarus aspires to the integration with the universal educational system preserving its achievements and traditions", – said the Deputy Minister of Education Alexander Zhuk on 3 April 2013. However, what he meant under "traditions" sometimes clearly contradicts the principles...

17 April 2013
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Selling Schengen Visas to Belarusians

On 12 April, Filip Kaczmarek, the chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus, stated that the EU can make Schengen visas more available for ordinary Belarusians even now. MEPs often say good things but unfortunately they have...