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The autumn of liberalisation – digest of the Belarusian economy
On 26 September 2017, Belarusian officials declared plans for the liberalisation of the economy by developing a new decree on freeing up Belarusian entrepreneurship. Moreover, on 28 September, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vasily Matyushevsky announced the...
7 September 2017
State debt and weak trade policy test Belarus recovery – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 5 September 2017, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka once again declared the need to accelerate the government’s efforts to improve legislation concerning economic embezzlement and other abuses that are slowing down the economic development of the country. Meanwhile, export...

27 July 2017
Belarus and Ukraine cooperate in the face of Russian pressure

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka travelled to Kyiv on an official visit on 20-21 July. Both Belarus and Ukraine, for different reasons, are seeking to reinvigorate direct dialogue between their leaders, which they resumed three months ago in the Chernobyl...

28 February 2017
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Consumption in stand-by mode, investments and trade – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 20 February 2017, Belstat, Belarus's official statistical agency, announced that the GDP has once again dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with the same month in 2016. However, on 21 February 2017, Prime Minister of Belarus Alexey...

3 February 2017
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Surviving year two of recession – digest of the Belarusian economy

On 3 January 2017, The Eurasian Development Bank​ announced that Belarus is the only economy among CIS countries with a forecasted GDP decline in 2017. Meantime, the biggest problem of 2016 remains unresolved – on 28 January 2017, the Deputy...

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...

3 May 2016
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The Long Road to Liberalization: Digest of Belarus Economy

On 29 March 2016 Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov proclaimed the government's intention to speed up the long-awaited process of joining the WTO. Moreover, after renegotiating different scenarios for pension reform in Belarus, the authorities have agreed to an increase in...

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...

30 March 2016
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Belarus and Poland Determined to Improve Relations

On 22-23 March, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski visited Belarus, as he explained, to normalise relations "without any pre-conditions". Prior to Waszczykowski's visit, Alexander Lukashenka had not yet confirmed whether he would meet with the Polish minister. Despite...

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...

10 March 2016
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Belarus-Sweden Relations: Between Trade and Human Rights

Belarus and Sweden are steadily improving their relations, harshly damaged by a diplomatic row in 2012. Sweden has patiently worked on reestablishing its diplomatic presence in Minsk. Belarus is in no hurry to reciprocate. Earlier this year a delegation of...

1 March 2016
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Belarusian MPs at PACE, Cooperation with Turkey, Retirement Age Increases – State Press Digest

Belarus continues to boost cooperation with western partners and is seeking to avoid excessive economic dependence on Russia. MPs hope to receive special guest status at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) after the issue of the...

8 December 2015
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Belarus and Zimbabwe Aim at “Mega Deals”

Belarus steps up its cooperation with Zimbabwe in sectors ranging from agriculture to mining. In mid-November, The Herald, a government-owned leading Zimbabwean daily, triumphantly reported the “nod” granted by the country’s President Robert Mugabe to a number of investment deals...

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...

27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...