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Human rights in Belarus: can dialogue work?
This July, the European Union and Belarus held their 4th round of bilateral dialogue on human rights in Brussels. The parties focused on civil, political, and social rights in both Belarus and Europe. Belarus hopes to put human rights...
31 January 2017
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Belarusian diplomacy in 2016 – annual foreign policy digest

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...

24 November 2016
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Belarus on the international stage: a Russian puppet or a skillful diplomat?

On 15 November, at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the Belarusian delegation voted against a draft resolution tabled by Ukraine on the human rights situation in Crimea. This vote, along with Belarus’s failed attempt to adjourn debate...

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...

5 May 2016
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Reinforcing the “Remote Arc”, Working Hard at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

In April, Belarus and Europe continued re-establishing contact at different levels. Belarus welcomed the Bulgarian foreign minister and senior diplomats from Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the institutional level, Minsk and Brussels inaugurated their new dialogue format, the...

4 May 2016
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Migration and National Security in Belarus

In March 2016 the Belarusian government approved the new national programme The National Health and Demographic Security of Belarus for the upcoming period 2016-2020. It aims "to stabilise population density and extend life expectancy". To achieve these admirable goals the...

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,...

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...

6 January 2016
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Belarus refuses to support Russia over Crimea issue at the UN

Efforts of the Belarusian diplomacy at the main part of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly at the end of 2015 brought mixed results. Alexander Lukashenka’s statements during the high-level segments of the session went...

5 November 2015
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Human Rights Pariahs Support Belarus at the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

On 29 October, Belarusian diplomats had another verbal joust on the issue of human rights in New York. They managed to gather significant support from other international pariahs. However, the adoption of a UN resolution stating concern over the...

4 November 2015
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UN Train, Living Library, Anti-Corruption Portal – Belarus Civil Society Digest

An NGO in Belarus launches a website to help the citizens to analyse information on public procurement and identify possible corruption schemes. 700 projects submitted for contest of local initiatives implemented by EU/UNDP. Living Library celebrates one year of existence....

8 October 2015
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Building Ties with Europe, Setting Priorities in the UN – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Belarus has been pursuing its strategy of normalising relations with Europe. In Minsk and European capitals, diplomats focused on strengthening trade and investment cooperation. In New York, foreign minister Vladimir Makei sought to foster further political normalisation, which many...

5 October 2015
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Lukashenka Defends Futile Causes, Showcases Young Son at the UN

Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka went to New York on 26–29 September to attend the world leaders' meetings at the United Nations. The country’s servile state-run media stubbornly called his trip a “working visit to the United States”. Meanwhile, the sojourn...

16 September 2015
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New Agreement with EU, Reviving Embassies with the US – Belarus Foreign Policy Digest

Encouraged by "non-negative dynamics" in Belarus, the European Union is drafting a new kind of framework agreement with Minsk. It will take into account the realities of their relationship. In the meantime, Minsk and Washington are discussing the practicalities...

30 July 2015
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Getting Belarusian Names and Places Right

For many foreigners the Latinised spellings for Belarusian places and names continue to present real difficulties or just appear unpronounceable. Belarusians themselves feel annoyed about the ways their names are transliterated from Cyrillic into Latin script. It has become even...