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Oct 12, 2015

EU on course to lift Belarus sanctions despite vote concerns

MINSK/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Belarus’s election fell short of democratic standards, monitors said on Monday after President Alexander Lukashenko won a fifth term, but Europe still looked set to ease sanctions as France and Germany welcomed a lack of political repression.

Moves by Lukashenko, including the pardoning of six opposition figures before the election, suggest Lukashenko could be seeking to improve his image abroad to rely less on his ally Russia, which is under Western sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict.

Oct 12, 2015

Belarus re-elects ‘last dictator in Europe’ for fifth term

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko won a fifth term in office by a landslide on Sunday in an election that could see an easing of relations with the West and raise questions about his ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support for his 20-year-old regime has risen since he cast himself as a guarantor of stability in the face of an economic crisis and a pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

Oct 11, 2015

Belarus exit polls show victory for “last dictator in Europe”

MINSK (Reuters) – Exit polls in Belarus showed President Alexander Lukashenko winning a fifth term by a landslide on Sunday in elections that could see an easing of relations with the West and raise questions about his ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support for his 20-year-old regime has risen since he cast himself as a guarantor of stability in the face of economic crisis and a pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.

Oct 11, 2015

Belarus poised to re-elect “last dictator in Europe”

MINSK, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Belarus President Alexander
Lukashenko appeared certain to be re-elected on Sunday for a
fifth term that could see an easing of relations with the West
and raise questions about his ties to Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests
and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support
for his 20-year-old regime has risen since he cast himself as a
guarantor of stability in the face of economic crisis and a
pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.

Oct 10, 2015

Belarus poised to re-elect the “last dictator in Europe”

MINSK, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Belarussians head to the polls on
Sunday to cast their vote in presidential elections all but
certain to re-elect authoritarian incumbent Alexander Lukashenko
for a fifth term.

Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests
and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support
for his 20-year-old regime has risen after he cast himself as
the guarantor of stability in the face of economic crisis and a
pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.

Oct 8, 2015

Belarus’ veteran leader poised for re-election, eyes better ties with West

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 21 years, is virtually certain to win a fifth term in office on Sunday in an election observers say is unlikely to see the kind of violent mass protests that marred the 2010 poll.

The West has long ostracized Lukashenko, a feisty, heavily built former state farm manager, over his human rights record and his clampdown on political dissent and has imposed economic sanctions on some Belarussian officials and companies.

Oct 8, 2015

Belarussian writer wins Nobel prize, denounces Russia over Ukraine

STOCKHOLM/MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday for her portrayal of the harshness of life in the Soviet Union and in her first public response denounced Russia’s intervention in Ukraine as an “invasion”.

The Swedish Academy said Alexievich’s work, which chronicles the lives of Soviet women during World War Two as well as the consequences of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl and the Soviet military adventure in Afghanistan, was “a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.

Aug 23, 2015

Belarus leader pardons six jailed opposition figures

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian President Aleksander Lukashenko has pardoned six jailed opposition figures, including Nikolai Statkevich who was imprisoned after running against him for the presidency in 2010, his administration said on Saturday.

Lukashenko, who has been in power in the ex-Soviet republic since 1994 and is running for a fifth consecutive term in an election in October, had been motivated by humane principles, his press service said.

May 6, 2015

Ukraine leader warns of worsening conflict, peace envoys more hopeful

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko warned on Wednesday of a growing threat of large-scale military action in the east of the country, but peace envoys reported some progress toward full implementation of a fragile ceasefire agreement.

Earlier Ukraine’s military said five of its servicemen had died in the past 24 hours, while pro-Russian separatist officials said three rebel fighters had been injured in the same period in attacks from the Ukrainian side.

Mar 19, 2015

Belarus surprises rivals with China potash deal

MINSK/MOSCOW, March 19 (Reuters) – Crisis-hit Belarus
reached an unexpected agreement with China on Thursday over 2015
prices for the crop nutrient potash, undercutting Russian and
North American rivals who were negotiating for higher rates.

Potash prices collapsed after Russia’s Uralkali
broke away from a joint trading venture with the Belarussian
Potash Company (BPC) in 2013. They have failed to fully recover,
amid competition between global producers who had previously
maintained high discipline on pricing.