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Belarusian diplomacy in 2016 – annual foreign policy digest
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In 2016, Belarusian diplomats succeeded in getting rid of most Western sanctions, improving the international legitimacy of the national parliament, regularising dialogue with Europe, and converting Poland from a strong critic into a good partner. Nevertheless, they failed to make...
16 August 2016
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Opinion: Is the EU Resistant to Belarus’s Europeanisation?

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Belarus has experienced a decisive shift in policy. On the domestic front, there has been a strengthening of territorial defence forces, while internationally Minsk has shown willingness to reach out to a...

11 July 2016
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Progress on the Western front – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Working-level contacts between Belarus and the European Union are thriving. However, this has been the case for a few years now. Brussels apparently expects much more from Minsk in order to proceed to the highest-level of dialogue with Belarus. In...

27 January 2016
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Belarusian Diplomacy in 2015 – Annual Foreign Policy Digest

On 6 January, the Belarusian foreign ministry published an annual review of Belarus’ foreign policy (in Russian only). The document, in bureaucratic lingo, tediously reports on the ministry’s achievements and activities in 2015. Belarus Digest offers its own subjective...

21 December 2015
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Academics Debating Belarus in Philadelphia: Between Facts and Fictions

The 47th Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), held on 19 – 22 November 2015 in Philadelphia, offered new interpretations of the contemporary situation in Belarus. Reflecting on the presidential campaign of 2015...

10 December 2015
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Christmas Price Freeze, Russian Food Embargo, Cheap Schengen Visas – Belarus State Press Digest

Belarus rejects accusations from Ukraine officials claiming that it has joined the Russian food embargo against Ukraine. Visa facilitation between the EU and Belarusan is likely to succeed, but the extent of the programme will depend on Belarus' commitment...

23 November 2015
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The Way They Do Reforms in Belarus: Actions, Framework, and Foreign Partners

Before the elections, many publications dealt with the subject of reform in Belarus. The analysis revolved around the post-Soviet space analysing the explicit degradation of the era of a commodity economy. This means that all these states will have...

20 November 2015
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Russia Would Rather Cut Pensions than Subsidies to Belarus – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian experts discussed Russian subsidies, economic reforms, which the government will have to implement and the challenges of their implementation. Other topics include human rights violations in July-September, coverage of the 2015 presidential elections in state media and the state...

11 November 2015
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Sanctions Suspended, Belarusian Airlines, Warsaw Conference – Ostrogorski Centre Digest

In the past month, Belarus's authorities have continued to benefit from balancing between east and west. The EU suspended sanctions against Belarus in response to the nonviolent presidential election, and in the east Belarus continues to enjoy the benefits...

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...

2 November 2015
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Editorial: Why the EU Lifts Belarus Sanctions

On Saturday the suspension of most European Union targeted sanctions against Belarus came into effect. The sanctions were suspended ​“in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on 22 August and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations”....

14 October 2015
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Editorial: Three Election Controversies

The 2015 presidential election in Belarus revealed three important controversies for the authorities, the opposition and the West. First, the Belarusian authorities want to look more democratic to the West without allowing any real changes inside the country. Second, the opposition...

25 September 2015
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EU considers Lifting Sanctions, Putin’s Proposed Airbase – Western Press Digest

Putin’s announcement of a Russian air base in Belarus dominated western media in September. Western media see the declaration as further support of Russian expansion. Other significant news: The EU might lift sanctions after Lukashenka freed 6 political prisoners. A...

2 September 2015
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Presidential Elections in Belarus: Why the West Should Not Hold Its Breath

On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year. Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory...

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...