Sanctions Suspended, Belarusian Airlines, Warsaw Conference - Ostrogorski Centre Digest
In the past month, Belarus’s authorities have continued to benefit from balancing between east and west.
The EU suspended sanctions against Belarus in response to the nonviolent presidential election, and in the east Belarus continues to enjoy the benefits of Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Igar Gubarevich analyzes the steps the foreign ministry took to use the presidential elections as a tool to strengthen the positive relations trend between Belarus and the West. In another article he shows how Belarus’s national air carrier, Belavia, tries to profit from the suspension of air traffic between Ukraine and Russia.
In his analysis of recent alcohol policies, Vadzim Smok shows that despite a huge problem with alcoholism in Belarus, the authorities seem unwilling to introduce consistent anti-alcohol measures. They effectively use it both as a tool to calm social discontent and a lucrative revenue source.
Before the elections, many publications dealt with the subject of reform in Belarus. The analysis revolved around the post-Soviet space analysing the explicit degradation of the era of a commodity economy. This means that all these states will have to change, including Belarus.
Minsk has already signalled by its actions its intention to change many things in its economy and politics. It is not only about its participation in the Ukrainian events. Belarus has taken seriously the optimisation of economic processes.
In terms of the Belarusian ruling elite, the words “reforms” and “reformism” are almost identical to the word “evil”. For Lukashenka, a declaration about the need for “structural reforms” would be equal to a declaration “I have been wrong, and my policy is inefficient”. Instead of these “bad” words, Lukashenka uses “modernisation”, “development”, ‘improvement”, “transformation” and other similar words.