Recent competition articles

Igar Gubarevich


Astraviec Nuclear Plant: a Poison for Belarus-Lithuania Relations?

In the recent months, the issue of the nuclear power plant (NPP) that Belarus is building near its border with Lithuania has been dominating bilateral relations. Lithuanian politicians are seeking to block potential exports of electric energy from Belarus.

Vilnius is worried about environmental and safety issues. Minsk sees economic and political motives behind Lithuania's claims. Domestic policy considerations in Lithuania also play a role.

Can Lithuania’s rhetoric and actions seriously harm the two country's economic and political ties?


Igar Gubarevich


Three ‘Thorns In The Flesh’ Of Belarus-Poland Relations

Despite some recent positive trends in relations between Belarus and Poland, several unresolved issues hamper their full normalisation.

Warsaw remains largely bound by the European Union’s official policy towards Minsk. The Belarusian authorities are suspicious of Poland’s support of democratic forces in Belarus.

Meanwhile, Poland’s conservative government has recently shown greater independence from Brussels on many policy issues. They have also visibly reduced their support of the Belarusian opposition, to the latter's great chagrin. This has led to tacit approbation from Lukashenka’s government.

However, the primary sources of conflict in the two countries’ relations remain of a purely bilateral nature. Will Minsk be willing to overlook its economic and security concerns and open the way to a full mending of ties?


Maksim Makhankou


Не вірю, що конфлікти за участю Росії можна вирішити з позиції умиротворення. Експерти — про мінські переговори по Донбасу

Спроби вирішити збройний конфлікт на сході України в рамках Мінської переговорної групи не зупинили вогонь в Донбасі. Чи вичерпав себе Мінськ за три роки?


Roman Colas


Goodbye Chernobyl/Goodbye Tchernobyl

Confronté à une situation économique de plus en plus délicate, le Belarus accélère sa politique de « normalisation » des territoires contaminés par la catastrophe de Tchernobyl. La peur du nucléaire, quant à elle, semble s’estomper avec l’inauguration prochaine de la première centrale atomique du pays.


Lizaveta Kasmach


Renewable Vs Nuclear: The Fate Of Green Energy In Belarus

A large solar power plant will open this summer in the Brahin district, changing the landscape of the Chernobyl-contaminated lands: 85,000 solar panels will occupy an area the size of about 80 football fields.

Proponents of green energy praise it as a win-win solution: sustainable, ecological, economically profitable, and a diversifier of energy supplies in the country. The authorities publicly acknowledge the need to support the renewable energy sector, promising tax incentives and preferential treatment for investors.

However, most green energy projects in Belarus are in the shadow of the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP). In a few years, Astraviec will provide an effective and fast solution to Belarus' energy needs, further marginalising the renewable energy sector.


Lizaveta Kasmach


Invisible Minority: Surviving With Disability In Belarus

On 5 May 2016, Minsk hosted a rally of Belarusians on wheelchairs, who gathered to remind the society of continuing discrimination.

Neither the state nor the public noticed this desperate cry in the desert, ignoring the needs of about 500,000 people with disability.

In 2015, Belarus was the last state in Europe to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet disabled people here still remain a hidden minority.

Various forms of discrimination in education, employment, and everyday life limit the chances of the disabled for full social integration. They suffer from the lack of barrier-free access and persisting stereotypes, which deny them equal chances of realising their potential.


Olivia Kortas


The sound of suppression

Even though underground musicians usually do not attract large crowds, the authoritarian regime in Belarus suppresses them. Even two years since the legalisation of street music, artists are still afraid of the consequences of performing in public.


Anna Solé Sans


“A Bielorrússia no hi ha eleccions, les eleccions són democràtiques”

El polític i activista bielorús Andrei Sannikov explica la situació política del seu país.


Maciej Zaniewicz


The complicated story of Belarusian opposition

The 2015 presidential election in Belarus once again demonstrated how weak the opposition is. Its poor results were caused not only by regular persecutions but also internal divisions. These divisions were so strong that the opposition could not manage to register one candidate to run for president or become a symbol of its unity.


Bartosz Rutkowski


Białoruś - sierota Europy

W ciągu ostatnich kilkunastu lat dialog między Unią Europejską a Białorusią był ciągiem wzlotów i upadków. Niemal regularnie przeplatał się czas ochładzania stosunków oraz wiary w poprawę sytuacji i jej zmianę. Białoruś do 2004 roku nie stanowiła głównego problemu Unii Europejskiej, zaś procesy polityczne w niej zachodzące były raczej egzotyczną odskocznią od bliższych i bardziej realnych problemów.





Belarus is one of the few countries across the world that Ghanaians can go to without a visa. In fact you only get to have a visa upon your arrival at their airport for a small fee. With a rich culture and respect for the art, the country can boast of lovely people with a population of 1.9Million.


Anastasiia Ivantsiv/Анастасія Іванців/


Tiny candle of Ў letter/Крихітна свічечка букви Ў

Як українська культура допомагає білорусам зрозуміти себе.

How the Ukrainian culture helps Belarusians understand themselves.


Florian Prokop


Belarus: Meine Reise durch die letzte Diktatur Europas

Kürzlich reiste ich durch Belarus, ein kleines Land im Osten Europas. Ich lernte dort vor allem, wie privilegiert ich wirklich bin.


Aliaksandr Filipau


A New Big Potash Deal Between Belarus And China?

June 2016 became a breakthrough month for the potash industry in Belarus. Belarus and China reached this agreement after negotiations lasting more than one year. Although the parties provided no information about a new potash contract, the very fact of this loan's existence provides grounds to suggest that such deal has been concluded.



Aliaksandr Filipau


Why Belarus Fails To Attract Foreign Tourists

In April 2016 the NGO Priceconomics published an article entitled Which Countries Are the Most / Least Overrun by Tourists? in which Belarus was ranked the 11th least popular country for tourists.

The fact that a central European country is as appealing to tourists as Niger, Chad, or Sudan has already caused much discussion and requires . Whether the Belarusian tourist policy itself has internal, integrated flaws?


Наталия Миняйло


Безработные в течение 183 дней должны заплатить 500 долларов налога

К Украине белорусы относятся довольно благожелательно, невзирая на постоянную российскую агитацию.


Othmara Glas


The singer takes it all

To attract voters and to stand out in the generally low-profile election campaigns, Belarusian parliamentary candidates have to put on a show. A successful singing career or an extraordinary idea helps, no matter what your affiliation.


Maria Stezhko


Kicking Lenin out of the classroom

Everyone has the right to education. But when the university curriculum is dominated by state ideology and the will of the president, what other options are available? The European College of Liberal Arts in Minsk is offering an alternative model that looks set to catch on.


Maciej Zaniewicz


Inna Białoruś jest możliwa

„Białoruś jest bratnim narodem Rosji i częścią Ruskiego Miru”, „Większość Białorusinów nawet nie zna białoruskiego, a jedynie rosyjski”, „Nie ma narodu białoruskiego” - te i wiele innych stwierdzeń w podobnym duchu można coraz częściej usłyszeć nie tylko w Rosji i na Zachodzie. Tego rodzaju opinie są obecne także na Białorusi - wśród samych Białorusinów występuje kompleks niższości wobec większego i starszego brata, dając podatny grunt dla dalszej kolonizacji tego niespełna 10-milionowego narodu.

Warto zatem zadać sobie pytanie, co stało się przyczyną takiej kondycji mentalnej Białorusinów i czy podlega ona zmianie.


Katarzyna Sobieraj


What should be Europe’s reaction to Belarus’ parliamentary elections?

For the first time in 20 years, the opposition is represented in the Belarusian parliament. While this is a purely symbolic institution, the EU should consider cooperating with Belarus’ new parliamentarians.