Publications

On 4 August, a leading Belarusian human rights activist, Ales Byalatski, was arrested on suspicion of concealing income. The Belarusian tax authorities based their allegations on data from an account in a Lithuanian bank belonging to Byalatski, which the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice forwarded to Minsk under an interstate agreement on mutual legal assistance. This calls into question the mechanism for the external funding of Belarusian NGOs. Belarus has taken steps to freeze this system and discredit those countries which participate in it.
Analyses
2011-08-10
The Belarusian public’s growing dissatisfaction with the economic situation could lead to wider social protests this autumn. This may open up room for manoeuvre for the Belarusian nomenklatura and for external actors, mainly Russia.
Analyses
2011-07-27
Kamil Kłysiński
On 22 June, many Belarusian towns once again saw public demonstrations organised through social networking websites. These protests have been cyclical in nature, and are gathering more and more participants. The growing popularity of these demonstrations shows a progressive increase in the public’s dissatisfaction with the deteriorating economic situation. And although for the moment the Belarusian people are not ready to take part in street demonstrations, the growing frustration may lead to a wider outbreak of public discontent in the next few months.
Analyses
2011-06-29
On 11 June, the Belarusian government decided to impose additional duties on exports by individuals from Belarus of a range of goods, including fuel. This is not the first attempt the Belarusian government has made recently to impose an administrative solution on the country’s financial crisis. Previous actions of this nature, however, have not yet yielded the expected results, while only serving to increase public discontent.
Analyses
2011-06-15
The loan is to be made in several tranches over the next three years. As Belarus’s sole possible creditor at this time, Moscow has presented its action as economic support for the crisis-ridden Belarusian economy. However, in return for the loan, it demands that Minsk not only carry out partial reforms to stabilise the macroeconomic situation, but above all that it should start privatisation. Under the present circumstances, the only real buyers of the vast majority of key enterprises in Belarus could be Russian investors.
Analyses
2011-06-08
Kamil Kłysiński
Wojciech Konończuk
On 27 May, during a meeting on the current economic situation, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka criticised the government’s actions aimed at avoiding the crisis, and ordered social discipline to be reinforced, and also that companies must increase their production. In this way, the Belarusian president showed that he does not want to implement the necessary economic reforms, and he sees the only way of combating the crisis to be increasing control and administrative regulations.
Analyses
2011-06-01
On 20 May, one of the Minsk courts concluded the process of sentencing of another group of Belarusian opposition activists, who had been arrested after a post-election opposition demonstration last 19 December in the centre of Minsk.. Among those convicted were two of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s opponents in the December presidential elections, Uladzimir Niaklajeu and Vitaly Rymasheuski. The sentences were much milder in comparison to that handed down to another candidate, Andrei Sannikau. In the opinion of the Belarusian government, varying the severity of the convictions may make it easier to return to dialogue with the EU.
Analyses
2011-05-25
On 24 May, the Central Bank of Belarus devalued the rouble rate by up to 56% against a basket of currencies. This is the biggest devaluation in the history of independent Belarus, and was caused by the dramatic situation on the financial market. In addition, this operation was one of the conditions of a grant to Belarus of a stabilisation loan of US$3 billion from the Anti-Crisis Fund of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC), in which Russia plays the leading role. In return, Moscow expects the privatisation of a number of Belarusian companies which are of interest to Russian investors. It seems that in view of the threat of collapse of the state’s finances, the Belarusian government will be forced to pay the high price of the Russian loan.
Analyses
2011-05-25
Fearing a weakening of the system, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka continues his policy of repression, which is leading to international self-isolation of Belarus; however, in the coming months, the growing financial crisis may force Minsk to make concessions to Russia and the West.
Analyses
2011-05-18
Kamil Kłysiński
Some of the Belarusian opposition activists who were arrested after the post-election demonstration last 19 December have had the charges against them moderated, which significantly reduces the sentences they may face. The decision by the Belarusian public prosecutor's office may be the beginning of Minsk’s attempts to improve relations with the EU. It seems that the Belarusian regime is trying to exploit the case of the accused opposition activists to obtain financial support from the West in exchange for their release.
Analyses
2011-04-06

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