Tikhanovskaya goes to Washington as Lukashenko’s media crackdown intensifies

Ben Aris in Berllin July 19, 2021

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya arrived in Washington on July 17 to lobby the US government for support in the struggle to oust Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose crackdown on the media intensified in the lead-up.

Lukashenko pays surprise visit to Putin in St Petersburg

bne IntelliNews July 13, 2021

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko paid a surprise and unscheduled visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg on July 13, almost certainly to ask for more money.

Belarus foreign exchange reserves fall to $7.4bn as population buy more dollars than they sell in June

bne IntelliNews July 12, 2021

Belarus' gold and foreign currency reserves fell by 4.6% to $7,409.3bn as of 1 July 2021 according to the preliminary data, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus said on July 7 as the population bought more dollars than they sold.

Belarus sentences presidential candidate Babariko to 14 years in jail

bne IntelliNews July 7, 2021

A Belarusian court sentenced presidential candidate Viktor Babariko to 14 years in jail on what are widely seen as politically motivated embezzlement charges.

Trade dependency keeps Ukraine out of international condemnation of China and Belarus

Ben Aris in Berlin June 28, 2021

The cash-strapped government of Ukraine has kept out of the international condemnation of China’s treatment of the Uighur and the latest round of sanctions on Belarus because of its trade dependency on both countries.

EU pulls its punches on Belarus sanctions

Ben Aris in Berlin June 28, 2021

The EU pulled some of its punches when imposing harsh sectorial sanctions on Belarus at a summit in Brussels on June 24-25.

Belarus moves jailed opposition blogger Roman Protasevich and partner Sofia Sapega to house arrest

bne IntelliNews June 25, 2021

Belarusian authorities have released jailed opposition blogger Roman Protasevich and his Russian partner Sofia Sapega to house arrest after the pair had been in pre-trial detention for over a month.

bneGREEN: the climbing cost of carbon

Richard Lockhart June 25, 2021

The cost of joining the global movement towards net zero is not yet fully known, and both governments and corporations with the highest levels of both greenhouse gas emissions and energy intensity face the highest costs for carbon.

Wildberries expands international sales by offering cross-border sales and delivery

bne IntelliNews June 24, 2021

Russia’s largest online retailer Wildberries has launched direct sales from Belarus, Kazakhstan and China to Russian consumers, the company said in a statement on June 23.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: EU and Austria – what is your stance on the Belarus sanctions?

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna June 23, 2021

In the end, the EU has agreed to comprehensive economic sanctions against Belarus. Sectoral EU sanctions are to be revealed and likely adopted by the EU on 24-25 June and reportedly include sanctions on potash and mineral fuel exports and finance.

Belarusian prosecution asks for 15-year sentence for jailed presidential candidate Viktor Babariko

Ben Aris in Berlin June 23, 2021

Belarus’ prosecution has asked for the maximum 15-year sentence for the jailed presidential candidate Viktor Babariko, who has been on remand for a year on embezzlement charges.

EU reaches deal on sectoral Belarus economic sanctions

Ben Aris in Berlin June 20, 2021

The European Union has agreed on a broad package of sanctions on Belarus that target the latter's key sectors, including sanctions on the financial sector, and overcoming objections from Austria.

Austria blocking EU sanctions on Belarus banks to protect its business interests

bne IntelIiNews June 19, 2021

Austria has blocked proposed sanctions on bank loans to Belarus to protect a branch of Raiffeisen International that has been operating in Minsk for years.

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: Surviving on life support – Belarus, sanctions and path-dependency

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna June 14, 2021

The Ryanair incident on 23 May was as much a bellwether for the status quo in Belarus as it is a geopolitical catalyst.

Lukashenko pushing illegal Iraqi refugees over the border into Lithuania

bne IntelliNews June 13, 2021

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko is transporting Iraqi immigrants to Minsk and helping them illegally cross the border into Lithuania, as he makes good on a threat to “flood the EU with drugs and refugees.”

Belarus is the “North Korea” of Europe, says US diplomat

bne IntelliNews June 11, 2021

The barred US ambassador to Belarus, Julie Fisher, called Belarus the “North Korea of Europe” in testimony before a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

COMMENT: Time to end Putin's impunity

Jeff Lovitt and Jan Piekło June 10, 2021

The price faced by Russia for aggression must be too high for the Kremlin to countenance, and this is the message that Biden should deliver to Putin – and act upon.

Protasevich appears on state TV interview and praises Lukashenko’s “balls of steel”

bne IntelliNews June 4, 2021

Jailed top Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich appeared in an interview on state TV where he praised Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko and said that he has “balls of steel” on June 3.

Belarus' economy will collapse without Russia's help

Ben Aris in Berlin June 3, 2021

Everyone in the world had a terrible 2020, ravaged by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and hurt by multiple economic shocks, including a collapse in the oil price last March. But Belarus had it worse.

Belarusian protester cuts his own throat during court hearing

Ben Aris in Berlin June 2, 2021

The stories of personal tragedies and horrific police repression coming out of Belarus are almost a daily occurrence. In the latest tragedy protester Stsyapan Latupau cut his own throat in court rather than incriminate himself.