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Jan 29, 2015

Belarus may seek restructuring if hard to pay $4 bln debt-Lukashenko

MINSK, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Belarus might seek restructuring
of $4 billion of foreign- currency debt falling due this year if
repayment becomes difficult, Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko said on Thursday.

The surprise restructuring talk by the veteran Belarussian
leader triggered a fall of 27 cents to the dollar in the value
of Belarussian sovereign bonds, but Lukashenko told bondholders
not to worry about Minsk’s ability to service its debt.

Jan 14, 2015

Russia’s financial crisis may bury Putin’s Eurasian dream

MINSK/ALMATY/TBILISI (Reuters) – Growing damage from Russia’s financial crisis on neighboring former Soviet states could bury President Vladimir Putin’s dream of creating an economic union to rival the United States and European Union.

From Belarus on the European Union’s fringe to Kazakhstan on the border with China, some of those once firmly in Moscow’s grip are now questioning whether Russia has what it takes to lead.

Jan 8, 2015

Belarus devalues currency again to protect against Russian economic fallout

MINSK, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Belarus took further emergency
steps on Thursday to defend itself from economic turmoil in
Russia, devaluing its currency by around 7 percent for the
second time this week, raising its main refinancing rate and
imposing a new export tax on potash.

Former Soviet countries are feeling the pain as Russia,
often the main trading partner, suffers from Western sanctions
over Ukraine and a sliding oil price, which sent the Russian
rouble down by about 40 percent against the dollar last

Dec 18, 2014

Belarus’s Lukashenko demands that trade with Russia be in dollars, euros

MINSK, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko has demanded that Belarus’s transactions with Russia
be settled in dollars or euros because of the slump in the value
of Russia’s rouble, the official news agency Belta reported on

The Russian rouble suffered its largest intraday loss
since 1998 on Tuesday and its weakness poses a threat to the
economy of Belarus, a close ally whose main trading partner is

Oct 10, 2014

Ex-Soviet states bicker as Putin tries to unite them

MINSK (Reuters) – Vulgar chants about Vladimir Putin before he arrived for a regional summit in Belarus did not augur well for the Russian president’s hopes of bringing the leaders of former Soviet republics closer together.

Matters got even worse when bickering broke out at the start of the meeting, revealing fault lines over the Ukraine crisis and deepening doubts about the future of the loose grouping known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Sep 6, 2014

Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels reach ceasefire deal

MINSK (Reuters) – Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels reached a ceasefire agreement on Friday, the first step toward ending fighting in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended.

The ceasefire deal was struck in the Belarussian capital Minsk along with a deal allowing for prisoner exchanges, deliveries of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of heavy weapons after five months of a conflict that has killed more than 2,600 people.

Sep 5, 2014

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agree ceasefire

MINSK, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels
agreed a ceasefire on Friday, the first step towards ending a
conflict in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff
between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended.

The deal, taking effect from 1500 GMT, was agreed at peace
talks with representatives of Russia and the OSCE security and
rights group in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

Aug 26, 2014

Putin and Poroshenko extend ‘difficult’ Ukraine talks one-on-one

MINSK, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The leaders of Russia and Ukraine
agreed on Tuesday on the need to “de-escalate” the conflict in
eastern Ukraine but fundamental differences remain, the
Belarussian president who hosted the talks said.

After about six hours of negotiations with their Belarussian
and Kazakhstan counterparts and top European Union officials,
presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Petro Poroshenko of
Ukraine began a one-on-one meeting, officials on both sides

Aug 26, 2014

Russian soldiers’ capture clouds Putin-Poroshenko talks

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine released a video of captured Russian soldiers on Tuesday, sharply escalating a dispute over Moscow’s alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic.

The footage was released only hours before the two countries’ presidents were due to meet for the first time since June to discuss the conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people and provoked Western sanctions against Russia.

Aug 26, 2014

Dispute over captured Russian soldiers before Putin-Poroshenko talks

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine released video footage on Tuesday of what it said were Russian soldiers captured on its territory, only hours before the presidents of the two countries were due to meet for the first time in months.

In Moscow, a military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident.