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Belarus’s 2019 parliamentary election: consequential or not?
On 17 November 2019 Belarus chooses a new parliament. The last parliamentary elections, held in September 2016, brought two non-loyalist candidates into the lower chamber for the first time in more than a decade. Although the role of the parliament is relatively insignificant in the Belarusian political system, the outcome of the poll later this […]
30 September 2019
2020 Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century conference – call for papers

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Ostrogorski Centre invite proposals from established academics and doctoral researchers for individual papers and panels discussing various aspects of contemporary Belarusian studies. The conference will take place on 21–22 February 2020 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) in London. The Annual London Lecture […]

4 September 2019
Trump’s advisor in Minsk: why should we care?

Last week US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Minsk and met the Belarusian president. The visit shows how greatly Belarus’s stock has risen in international relations over the past five years. It also adds to suggestions of ‘normalising’ diplomatic ties between Belarus and the United States, with President Aliaksandr Lukashenka insisting that he has […]

5 August 2019
The State of the Union: Belarus, Russia and the virtual state

On 18 July Aliaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin met in St Petersburg. Integration within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, which will mark its twentieth anniversary in December, featured prominently on the agenda. It has become a leitmotif in recent meetings between the two heads of state. Remarkably little has been […]

24 July 2019
Schengen visa costs to rise in absence of EU agreement

On 22 July Andrea Victorin, head of the EU delegation to Belarus, claimed that Belarus and the EU will sign an agreement on visa regime simplification by 2 February 2020. From February 2020 the cost of a Schengen visa for Belarusians could increase from €60 to €80. However, if the EU and Belarus manage to […]

16 July 2019
2019 Parliamentary Elections and New Constitution

In spite of the reduced oil donations from Russia’s side and imposed limitations on Belarusian agricultural exports, Lukashenka will not concede to steps of real integration (unification of currencies, creating common customs, creating supranational institutions within the union state etc.). Currently, the statements of the Belarusian side on diversification of oil supplies is an attempt […]

2 July 2019
Professor Viktor Kryvoi – an obituary

Viktor Ivanovich Kryvoi was born in Kazakhstan into a working-class family of Belarusian and Russian settlers. Educated in St Petersburg and Moscow, he shaped the laws of independent Belarus and unhesitatingly spoke the truth to those in power. This obituary provides a glimpse into the full and productive life of Viktor Kryvoi. It serves as […]

20 June 2019
Belarus is the only CIS country where the last Amy Winehouse exhibition will be shown

From 15 June 2019, the Museum of History in Minsk has been hosting a legendary exhibition ‘Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait’ devoted to the life and music of the famous British singer. Late artist’s brother Alex with his family visited its grand opening. It was the first visit for the Winehouse family of their historical […]

19 June 2019
The controversy of the European Games: Price vs Prestige

In preparation for the European Games 2019 on the 21st of June, Belarus has already spent the double compared to the planned budget – $112m for ceremonies, repair, volunteers, and other expenses. Belarusian authorities argue that the games will promote Belarus, and unite Belarusians. In addition, the government decided to introduce a month-long 30-days visa-free […]

6 May 2019
Will Russia’s new man in Minsk improve relations?

On 30 April Russia replaced its ambassador to Belarus. The outgoing Mikhail Babich, who was only appointed in August last year, repeatedly stoked controversy and this may account for his short tenure in the role. The appointment of Dmitry Mezentsev to the post may smooth day-to-day bilateral relations, though it will not have any effect […]

1 May 2019
Analytical Paper: Reforming the Research & Development Sector in Belarus. Challenges and Possible Solutions

The Ostrogorski Centre presents a new analytical paper ‘Reforming the Research & Development Sector in Belarus: Challenges and Possible Solutions’, written by Andrei Kazakevich and Kiryl Haroshka. The paper primarily based on suggestions made during a conference on reform of Belarusian higher education held on 27 December 2018 in Minsk, organised by the Ostrogorski Centre. Dedicated to the […]

24 April 2019
Belarusians awaken in protest against polluting factories

On 14 April almost 1,000 people in Brest protested against the construction of a battery factory. During the past year similar protests took place in Astravets, Brest, and Svetlahorsk; all against environmentally-harmful enterprises threatening neighbourhoods with dangerous factory emissions. However, as with other non-political protests, the authorities reacted in all of these cases with either silence […]

23 April 2019
Analytical paper: Plagiarism among Belarusian students. Contributory factors, consequences, and solutions

The Ostrogorski Centre presents a new analytical paper “Plagiarism among Belarusian students: Contributory factors, consequences, and solutions”, written by Vadim Mojeiko and Piotr Rudkouski. The paper primarily based on suggestions made during a conference on reform of Belarusian higher education held on 27 December 2018 in Minsk, organised by the Ostrogorski Centre. Dedicated to the issues of higher […]

17 April 2019
Freedom day, escalation with Russia, and the ‘Ministry of Truth’ – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Despite Lukashenka’s declarations on closer integration with Russia, long-term trends show that Belarus is gradually distancing itself from Russia. OSCE representative visits Minsk. Belarus seeks warmer relations with NATO. Belarus’s self-awareness is on the rise. Belarusian authorities show tolerance to the Freedom day concert, yet demolish crosses at Kurapaty. Nobel Prize laureate Sviatlana Alexievich condemns […]

16 April 2019
The reduction of oil dotations from Russia: a catastrophe for Belarus?

On 12 April, tut.by reported that Belarus has pushed for an urgent modernization of it chief refineries in Navapolatsk and Mazyr to minimize the losses from the reduction of Russian oil dotations via the ‘tax manoeuvre’. However, if Russia reduces oil dotations in 2019, catastrophic consequences should not follow for Belarus. Belarus will disagree to concede […]