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Trade and geopolitics to counterbalance Russia – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest
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With the summer holiday period finally over, Belarusian diplomacy has gone into overdrive. In September – October, Belarusian officials spoke with representatives of over thirty nations, ranging from deputy foreign ministers to heads of state. Poland has transformed from being...
2 November 2016
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Autumn of tough economic decisions – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 17 October 2016, new macroeconomic data from Belstat, Belarus's national statistical committee, indicated that this year's economic decline seems to have finally halted. The GDP stopped falling and foreign trade saw a slight revival. However, on 21 September the...

20 October 2016
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Belarus and Poland: is the difficult period finally over?

Belarus and Poland are moving closer towards a rapprochement, with Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei paying a working visit to Warsaw on 10 October. His Polish counterpart, Witold Waszczykowski, seems to have a personal affinity for Makei; Waszczykowski trusts that...

4 October 2016
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Will anti-western rethoric help Belarus at the United Nations?

At the UN General Assembly session in New York in late September, foreign minister Vladimir Makei and his deputy Valentin Rybakov worked to promote Belarus’s geopolitical philosophy alongside a few more concrete priorities. The priorities included broader access to UN...

3 October 2016
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Russian oil blackout – digest of Belarus economy

On 14 September 2016 First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashka announced that negotiations on oil and gas relations between the Belarusian authorities and Russia's main economic players had failed. Meanwhile, the oil crisis has cast further uncertainty on...

15 September 2016
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Belarusian MFA and the diaspora: a complicated relationship

Speaking at a meeting of the Consultative Council for Belarusians Living Abroad on 5 September in Minsk, Belarus's foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought support from the Belarusian diaspora in preserving the country's “independence, sovereignty and statehood”. This is a recent...

2 September 2016
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Central and Eastern European dimension of Belarusian diplomacy – Belarus foreign policy digest

In July and August, Belarusian diplomats kept busy reinforcing ties with the country’s partners in Central and Eastern Europe. These relationships may prove to be instrumental in bolstering Belarus's foreign policy positions. Foreign minister Vladimir Makei travelled to Kyiv in...

21 July 2016
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Belarusian Partisan with Love: In Memory of Pavel Sheremet

On 20 July 2016 at 7:45 am a bomb went off in a car in Kiev. The explosion killed Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian journalist working in Ukraine. Pavel was 44 years old and was killed in a car of...

25 May 2016
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Astraviec Nuclear Plant: a Poison for Belarus-Lithuania Relations?

In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus. Vilnius...

23 May 2016
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EU and Belarus: All Politics to Be Gradual

After the 2015 October presidential elections Belarus gears up for a parliamentary one on September 11 with little expectations of democratic improvement. Albeit authoritarian, Belarus is both a functional state and society. The EU is learning to live with this...

26 April 2016
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Chernobyl as Belarus’ foreign policy priority

On 25-26 April, Minsk hosts an international conference titled Thirty Years after Chernobyl: From Emergency to Revival and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Affected Territories. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched his deputy Helen Clark, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator,...

8 April 2016
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Upgrading Relations with Europe, Winning in an Embassy Row – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In recent weeks, Belarus managed to noticeably upgrade the level of its relations with EU countries. However, the ministerial-level meetings have been limited to Belarus’ long-time sympathisers in Europe (Hungary and Slovenia) as well as its closest neighbours (Poland). The...

4 April 2016
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What Dangers Do The Clashes In Nagorno-Karabakh Bring For Belarus?

Saturday 2 April witnessed intensive clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijan forces in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The same day Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka ordered the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Relations to start consultations with...

17 March 2016
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Belarus Retains Death Penalty, Promotes UN Reform – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In the first half of March, the EU’s top human rights official came to Minsk to talk President Alexander Lukashenka into introducing a temporary moratorium on the death penalty. The Belarusian authorities are very willing to discuss human rights with...

2 February 2016
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Russian Media Attack Belarus: Minsk Remains on the Kremlin Radar

Several months after the October presidential elections in Belarus, conservative and Kremlin-affiliated Russian media and commentators have again turned their attention to Belarus. They warn of an alleged rise in "Russophobia" in Belarus, and criticise the West for plotting to...