Belarus Headlines IX

Belarus Headlines  9

"Belarus Headlines", issue IX, July 2012

Belarusian news headlines over the last several weeks include the embarrassment inflicted by Swedes who dropped toys on Belarus with freedom of speech slogans, having flown over the border on a small aircraft.  The Belarusian KGB subsequently arrested a young journalist who
took pictures of the Swedish teddy bears. Russia continues to increase its influence in Belarus by extending a loan to Belarus which would enable Minsk to pay Russia for building a nuclear power plant in the north of Belarus.

In this issue of Belarus Headlines Stephan Malerius discusses the legacy of Vitali Silicki on pre-emptive authoritarianism. This issue also includes interviews with four Vitali Silicki fellows.  Siarhei Bohdan explains how and why the Belarusian (and Russian) political leadership exploit the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany to reach their political ends. The issue also gives an overview of the Office for Democratic Belarus’ activities, such as the competition of Belarusian school-teams “What do I know about Europe” and developments related to the Clearing
House Initiative.

BISS analytical papers suggest that the pro-Russian tilt dominates Belarusian foreign policy despite some warming of Belarus relations with the West. Most recently Belarus authorities tried to avoid aggressive rhetoric against the West which was dominant in the past. Andrei Yeliseyeu concludes in his study that Schengen countries are more open to Belarus than any other EaP country.

Short summaries of Belarus Digest publications include articles on sex tourism, women's rights and privatisation, while Olga Loginova describes her trip to the lake Svitiaz’ in central Belarus.