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Europe/Iraq/Belarus – EU pushes Iraq to stem migrant flights to Belarus (Euractiv, AFP)

Euractiv writes: The European Union said on Thursday (29 July) it was pressing Iraq to help stem the flow of migrants to Belarus who are then smuggled across the border into Lithuania.

go to Euractiv: EU pushes Iraq to stem migrant flights to Belarus – EURACTIV.com

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Analysis

Belarus – Belarus’s Energy Sector Faces Challenging Times (GMF)

Aliaksei Patonia writes: As one of the world’s least energy self-sufficient countries, Belarus has always been extremely reliant on the import of Russian oil and gas, which constitute around 90 percent of the nation’s primary energy supply. While oil is currently mostly refined for later export to the EU, natural gas serves as the main source of energy for Belarus’s electricity generation, household heating, and industries. Though the dependence on Russian gas has never been comfortable, its transit to Europe via the Yamal-Europe pipeline used to annually generate around $300 million for the national budget. Starting this year, however, the situation is likely to dramatically change. For the worse.

go to GMF: Belarus’s Energy Sector Faces Challenging Times | The German Marshall Fund of the United States (gmfus.org)

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Analysis

Belarus/Ukraine – Belarus and the Ukraine Trap (GMF, War on the Rocks)

Michael Kimmage writes: Belarus is among the most likely places where a war could break out between Russia and the West. News from Belarus has flashed in and out of headlines in the past year. When a wave of protest washed over the country in the summer of 2020, it was a major story. The diversion of an airplane traveling between two EU member states, followed by the kidnapping of a Belarusian opposition journalist and his (Russian) girlfriend from this plane, captured the world’s attention for more than a week. Otherwise, this country of almost ten million people tends to get ignored, which is unfortunate. The future of Belarus poses urgent and acutely unpredictable questions for the entire region. Bearing this in mind, Western policymakers should do what they can to articulate a viable policy toward Belarus — before the next round of crises comes. They can begin this difficult job by reviewing the relationship between Belarus and Ukraine.

go to GMF: Belarus and the Ukraine Trap | The German Marshall Fund of the United States (gmfus.org)

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(Belarus) Minsk Retaliates Against European Sanctions by Ridding Country of ‘Agents of Western Influence’ (Jamestown Foundation)

Grigory Ioffe writes for Jamestown Foundation: In Belarus, the government’s assault on media outlets and other entities with Western funding continues. Just on July 14, the authorities conducted searches of the offices of 23 entities, including the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Viasna Human Rights Center (connected to Human Rights Watch), the headquarters of the Belarusian Popular Front party, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Batkaushchyna (“Fatherland”—which develops ties with Belarusians abroad), the organization Comradeship for Belarusian Language, and others (Zerkalo.io, July 14).

go to Jamestown Foundation website: Minsk Retaliates Against European Sanctions by Ridding Country of ‘Agents of Western Influence’ – Jamestown

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Analysis

(Russia/Belarus) Russia, Belarus and sanctions

Rauf Mammadov writes for The Jamestown Foundation: On June 24, Russia’s state-owned oil transit system operator Transneft announced that hydrocarbon producers Rosneft and Surgutneftgaz had not reserved any pipeline volumes for transporting oil to the Belarusian refinery Naftan for the third quarter of 2021 (TASS, June 24). Transneft’s announcement did not come as a surprise. Following the United States’ decision to revoke its moratorium on implementing sanctions against Belarus’s state-owned refinery enterprises within 45 days, media sources had reported that Russian companies planned to comply with the reapplied restrictions (Neftegaz.ru, June 1; see EDM, May 18).

read more: Russian Energy Companies Halt Oil Supplies to Naftan Refinery in Belarus Because of US Sanctions – Jamestown

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(Belarus) Sanctions for Belarus: what’s next ?

Artyom Shraibman  writes for Carnegie Moscow Center: The European Union has announced sectoral economic sanctions against Belarus for the first time in the ongoing international campaign to put pressure on Alexander Lukashenko, who has refused to step down following a contested presidential election last summer. Until now, sanctions had been limited to fairly toothless packages of targeted measures against Belarusian officials and companies close to the regime.

go to the analysis: Will Tough New Sanctions Change the Course of Events in Belarus? – Carnegie Moscow Center – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Russia/Belarus – Russia, Belarus, and the Empire Debate (Emil Avdaliani, BESA Center)

Belarus is growing increasingly isolated and is pushing itself more and more into Russia’s embrace. Moscow is taking the opportunity to cement Belarus as a buffer state against Western geopolitical influence. But contrary to the established analysis, unless there is a real chance of a pro-Western government being installed in Minsk, Russia is unlikely to push for any radical scenarios, including full integration.

Russia, Belarus, and the Empire Debate (besacenter.org)

Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, image via Wikimedia Commons

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Europe/Belarus – EU Sectoral Sanctions Put a Heavy Burden on Lukashenka’s Regime (Mateusz Kubiak, The Jamestown Foundation)

On June 21 and 24, the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada imposed several new sanctions packages against Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime. The actions form part of a coordinated Western response to the serious human rights abuses observed in Belarus since the August 9, 2020, presidential elections there.

EU Sectoral Sanctions Put a Heavy Burden on Lukashenka’s Regime – Jamestown

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Serbia/Belarus – The end of the Serbia-Belarus tango (Orhan Dragaš, Euractiv)

Serbia has for many years claimed to maintain friendly and even brotherly relations with Belarus, but this did not prevent Belgrade from joining the EU sanctions against the regime of Aleksander Lukashenko, writes Orhan Dragaš.

The end of the Serbia-Belarus tango – EURACTIV.com

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