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Belarus Strengthens its Bargaining Position in the Eurasian Economic Union
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Lukashenka's administration believes that Belarus' participation in the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) does not restrict its ability to balance its interests between Russia and the West. Despite Russia's position, Belarus continues to participate in the Eastern Partnership. Belarus has even recognised the...
10 June 2014
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Belarus Government to Establish Serfdom in Agriculture?

On 27 May Lukashenka announced several radical initiatives that would virtually introduce serfdom into the nation's state-run farms. Two weeks later it remains unclear how serious Lukashenka was but the authorities like to resort to drastic administrative policies to regulate the economy.   In 2012, the government introduced...

2 June 2014
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Belarus Strengthens Ties With Europe, Preaches Morality to the World – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has asserted its displeasure with Russia's new 'Russian world' policy while maintaining its solidarity with Ukraine. All of this unfolded against a background of strengthening ties with "New Europe". The Foreign Ministry has resorted to Soviet-style meetings as a tool to promote...

26 May 2014
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The Ukrainian Scenario is Being Tested in Belarus – Belarus Security Digest

The Belarusian authorities are preparing to counter by military means any possible attempts to destabilise the situation in Belarus under the scenario deployed in Eastern Ukraine. The Belarusian Ministry of Interior plans to make the fight against drug trafficking more efficient and...

28 April 2014
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Solidarity with Ukraine, Engagement with Central Europe – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has made a few gestures of support towards Ukraine, a move which has put it at odds with Russian policy. All of this is unfolding during a time when working relations between Belarus and several Central...

12 April 2014
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Balancing on Crimea, Merchants’ Diplomacy, Protecting Traditional Values – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus Digest is launching Belarus Foreign Policy Digest which will overview the most important foreign policy developments related to Belarus. Igar Gubarevich, who served as Counsellor at the Belarusian embassy in Paris in 2003 - 2006 and held several other...

19 March 2014
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Why Lukashenka Wants to Make Friends with the New Ukrainian Government

On 12 March at a meeting of the Security Council of Belarus, Lukashenka confirmed that Belarus would maintain contact with the new Ukrainian government. He emphasised the close economic ties between Belarus and Ukraine and gave guarantees to Ukrainian business that their fruitful relationship would continue unscathed. Belarus' large stake in trade...

4 March 2014
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What Should the Belarusians Expect in the Event of the Crimean War?

The Russian Parliament has approved the Russian president's request to use military forces in Ukraine. People sneer in social networks: he asked to approve the bringing of troops, which are already there. But actually there...

13 February 2014
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CNN Offended Belarus and Russia

On 24 January, CNN published a rating of the world’s ugliest monuments, causing an outrage in many post-Soviet countries, both officially and among the general public. The channel described the Courage monument from the Brest Fortress memorial in Belarus as looking constipated,...

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...

1 January 2014
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Celebrating the New Year’s Eve in Belarus: The Russians are Coming

Traditionally, Belarusians celebrated Christmas as a part of Kaliady – a two week long pagan holiday of winter solstice. However, today most Belarusians celebrate New Year's Eve as their main winter holiday. This tradition comes from Soviet times, when communists rejected...

9 December 2013
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Analytical Paper: Belarusian Identity – The Impact of Lukashenka’s Rule

The regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka rejected the ethno-national model of state suggested by his predecessors in the early 1990s.Instead, he restored a soviet style “statist nation” with a centralised bureaucratic machine at its core. These are the conclusions reached in...

6 August 2013
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Belarus Kills Thousands of Pigs to Stop a Pandemic

On 21 June the Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus had to acknowledge that they detected African swine fever in a village of the Hrodna region. By August, it had spread to other regions of Belarus. This highly contagious disease causes...

31 July 2013
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Why Belarusians Emigrate

On 12 July, Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich proposed the introduction of a tax on non-working Belarusians.Although official statistics show that the unemployment rate stands at 0.5 per cent, the prime minister acknowledged that 445,000 Belarusians do not work - about...

27 June 2013
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Viciebsk Region – the Land of Artists and Terrorists

Viciebsk city hosted one of the most famous avant-garde art schools of the 20 century counting amongst those who walked through its doors such famous names as Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich. But recently it has become famous as the terrorist capital of Belarus, as supposed organisers...