Policy briefs

Tue, 2008-08-19 10:53

STRATFOR -- Like other Former Soviet countries, Belarus is reassessing its relationship with Russia and the West after MOSCOW 's conflict with Georgia. While not long ago Minsk may have entertained the idea of gradually opening up to the West, the Georgian example will drive it back forcefully into the Kremlin's orbit. Read analysis by STRATFOR.

Belarus, the only ex-Soviet country to have survived the Union's collapse without major political and economic renovation, is reassessing its relationship with Russia in the aftermath of MOSCOW 's recent conflict with Georgia.

Fri, 2008-08-08 12:47
President Aliaksandr Lukashenka has passed a new media law, despite accusations that it is restrictive. The new legislation means that the Council of Ministers in Belarus now control online media.

Wed, 2008-08-06 12:22
The Committee to Protect Journalists is troubled to learn that President Aliaksandr Lukashenka has signed a restrictive new media law, which, according to CPJ research, will allow authorities to further restrict press freedom in Belarus.
Wed, 2008-08-06 11:53
Belarus is making some efforts to give the appearance of a more democratic election than in the past. This is a calculated risk. Polls suggest that those candidates supporting the policies of Lukashenka have a clear advantage and are also more popular than candidates clearly associated with the opposition...
Wed, 2008-07-30 17:01
Government of Belarus photoLukashenka uses the elections to gain leverage in his dealings with the EU.
Thu, 2008-07-10 12:47

A terrorist act in a small European state [Belarus] in the beginning of the twenty-first century can only be the sign of the last stage of political and social disorganisation of society...

In this particular case, it does not really matter who directly set up the explosive device and what ideas they professed. What is more important is that in modern Belarus it became possible to express a political will through an attempt on the life of tens of innocent people…

Thu, 2008-07-03 07:00
These are excerpts from an overview report that has recently been published by Freedom House as a companion to their annual survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World. The analysis and assessments in this report are based on events in 2007 that took place in 17 countries and 3 territories that are considered to be ‘Not Free’ and ‘whose citizens endure systematic and pervasive human rights violations’. While the Republic of Belarus is not among the eight countries – Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – judged to have the worst records, it has been included in a group of nine states near the bottom of the organisation’s list of the most repressive. This group also features Chad, China, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Zimbabwe, and the territory of Western Sahara. According to the report, these countries ‘offer very limited scope for private discussion while severely suppressing opposition political activity, impeding independent organizing, and censoring or punishing criticism of the state’.
Thu, 2008-06-26 13:31

Belarus – Bertone and Lukashenka collage 18Jun2008

By Jan Maksymiuk

Last week, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, paid a five-day visit to Belarus. The visit was remarkable for at least two reasons.

Fri, 2008-06-20 17:51

By David Marples

The press services of the presidencies of Russia and Belarus have announced that the leaders of these countries, Dmitry Medvedev and Alyaksandr Lukashenka, will meet in Brest on June 22. It will be the first bilateral meeting of the two presidents. Reportedly, the meeting is taking place on Russia's initiative (Itar-Tass, June 10), though it is also speculated that Lukashenka invited his Russian counterpart earlier to take part in the ceremonies for what is known as the Day of Grief and Memory, the day that the German army invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 (Belorusy i Rynok, June 16).

Wed, 2008-06-18 19:25

Independent journalists could soon find their work in Belarus even more difficult as a result of a new media law that is taking shape. The legislation seeks to impose curbs on the Internet -- the last outpost of uncensored information and free exchange of ideas in one of the world's most authoritarian countries.