2014: Belarus-Ukraine relations review
The meeting of the , which was scheduled for December 26 in Minsk, did not take place: not easy to solve all conflicts and to take into account the interests of all parties. Nevertheless, Belarus' peacekeeping image is now more popular than the image of a "totalitarian state."
Belarus President dismisses key government officials a year prior to presidential election
The Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has made a number of appointments in the government and other important state positions. Saturday was marked by great personnel changes in Belarus.
Despite the fact that the country had a day off on Saturday, the President did not have a rest. Although just a couple of days are left before the New Year holidays, there's no reason to relax.
Belarus should enter 2015 with renewed vigor. That is why Alexander Lukashenko made a number of personnel decisions on December 27. Some 26 people got new posts.
Andrei Kobyakov nominated new Belarus' prime minister
On December 27, Alexander Lukashenko fulfilled his long-standing promise and almost completely renewed the government. However, a lot of new appointees are in fact familiar faces.
Andrei Kobyakov, former head of the Presidential Administration, was appointed new prime minister.
Governor of the Vitebsk region Alexander Kosinets replaced Mr Kobyakov.
Two well-known bankers returned to power. Head of BPS-Bank Vasily Matyushevsky became first deputy prime minister.
Alexander Lukashenko sees progress in combating Belarusian economy's problems
Problems in the Belarusian economy are being gradually resolved, including recent financial and foreign currency issues, said the Belarus Head of State at a meeting on the country's economic development. On December 26, the government reported on its work to resolve the current problems of the Belarusian economy.
A week ago, a similar government meeting was held. It took a number of decisions to resolve problems with the lack of foreign currency in exchange points and people's expectations of coming devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.
Belarus to keep state control over prices 'forever'
Problems in the Belarusian economy are being gradually resolved, including recent financial and foreign currency issues, said the Belarus Head of State at a meeting on the country’s economic development.
Last time, this topical issue was discussed a week ago.
And on 26 December, which is a public holiday in Belarus, the Government reported back on its work to the President.
More on the topic:
Export diversification among Belarus' top priorities in 2015
Russian newspaper calls Alexander Lukashenko politician of the year
The balanced position of the Belarus President on the situation in Ukraine and the "Minsk format", the only way to continue the negotiations on the Ukraine crisis. One of the leading Russian newspapers "Vedomosti" called Alexander Lukashenko politician of the year, saying he is, quote, "perhaps the main peacemaker in Europe."
The media outlet also notes that the President of Belarus in 2014, distinguished himself as an "extremely skilled diplomat and business executive", not allowing the country's economic instability.
Alexander Lukashenko, in Moscow, visits National Defense Control Center of Russia
At the end of Eurasian summits In Moscow, Alexander Lukashenko, together with other heads of state visited the National Center for Control of Defense of Russia at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.
This powerful complex became operational in December. All information flows get here. This allows monitoring the situation in any division of the Russian Armed Forces real-time, in a given hour and even minute.
Hardware and software systems are able to simulate crisis situations not only around the Russian borders, but also anywhere in the world.
President: Belarusians will take care of peace and prosperity in their own land
Belarusians will take care of peace and prosperity in their own land. Alexander Lukashenko said this during the December 24 New Year charity festival for children held as part of the ongoing nationwide campaign "Our Children".
Addressing the young audience, the President stressed that each of them can do something good for their country. Especially considering that the coming year has been declared the Year of Youth.
Alexander Lukashenko, his son Nikolai attend New Year charity festival
It is necessary to discover talent and ability in children as early as possible, said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko during a New Year charity festival which was held as part of the ongoing annual nationwide campaign "Our Children".
The head of state touched on the reformation of the Belarusian education system. In particular, the introduction of the five-day school week.
According to the President, school children need the sixth day to do their favorite useful things - sports and industrial arts.
Eurasian Economic Union to be launched in 7 days amid disagreements between member states
Important political news came from Moscow on December 23. The Belarus President visited Russia that day to take part in two Eurasian summits in the Kremlin. Military and economic security dominated the agenda. The presidents took part in the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
Political, economic security tops agenda of CSTO summit in Moscow
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Moscow on December 23.
The heads of the six states (Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan) discussed the strengthening of military cooperation within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, CSTO member states must firmly and convincingly promote their common stance in the international arena.
Alexander Lukashenko to take part in CSTO, Eurasian Economic Council sessions in Moscow
The President of Belarus has gone to Moscow to attend the session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
On December 23, Moscow welcomes the heads of the six states. In the first half of the day, at the session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the leaders of Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan will talk about regional security.
Belarus President visits Ukraine, meets Petro Poroshenko
Belarus will do its utmost to establish peace in Ukraine. This was stated by Alexander Lukashenko during his working visit to Kiev. Mr Lukashenko met his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.
The sides discussed a wide range of issues - from the economy to the situation in eastern Ukraine. Mr Poroshenko looks forward to the resumption of the so-called Minsk talks of the contact group to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
President: Belarus will not restrict import
Belarus will not restrict import in connection with the difficult situation on the financial and currency markets. This was said by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 22. The head of state took reports from the president's aides in the Vitebsk and Grodno regions.
The President asked about the situation in the region after the decision of the government and the National Bank to restrict introduce a 30% fee on foreign currency purchases.
President Lukashenko: Belarus always does everything Ukraine asks for
On December 21, Alexander Lukashenko made a working visit to Ukraine.
Alexander Lukashenko met with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, pointing out that, despite the situation in Ukraine, the bilateral trade had not fallen. Moreover, figures suggest that it is growing. This indicates a serious interest in buying Belarusian goods.
Alexander Lukashenko to meet Petro Poroshenko December 21
Alexander Lukashenko said on December 19 that he is going to meet with Ukraine's counterpart Petro Poroshenko. The presidents are going to meet on December 21.
Media representatives also asked Alexander Lukashenko on the possible date of a new round of negotiations of the contact group on Ukraine.
Belarus President promises economic stabilization in H1 2015
After a visit to the State Committee of Forensic Examinations, Alexander Lukashenko answered questions from the media. The journalists wanted to know about reforms in the judicial system, the upcoming trilateral meeting of the contact group on Ukraine and the problem with restrictions on Belarusian food exports to Russia.
Belarus President: Establishment of State Forensic Enquiry Committee was a correct decision
A decision to establish the State Committee of Forensic Examination was a logical continuation of the process of reforming Belarusian law enforcement system. This statement was made by the President when visiting the institution on December 19.
Alexander Lukashenko was told about the institution's performance. He was shown a modern laboratory, where drugs, plastics and petroleum products are studied.
Meeting with the employees of the Committee, the President stressed that the decision on the formation of the new structure was justified.
President: Exchange rate of Belarusian ruble depends on people
Increase in export and boosting sales of Belarusian products. These are the main topics of the meeting on economic issues hosted by the Belarus President. In general, the situation in the Russian financial market, the main export market of Belarus, remains unpredictable.
According to the President, Belarus will not rush to devalue its ruble after Russia. The stability in the currency market is the task of the Government and the entire banking system. However, people's behavior plays an important role.
Alexander Lukashenko: We're not going to devalue the Belarusian ruble after Russia
Belarus will not follow Russia in devaluing its national currency. This was stated by the Belarus President at a meeting on economic issues. The meeting discussed the situation in the real economy as well as the curbing of unreasonable increases in prices for goods and services in the domestic market.
According to the President, the stability of the currency market is the task of the government and the banking system led by the National Bank.
Belarus President presents state awards
The President of Belarus presented state awards on December 17. The ceremony in the Palace of Independence brought together those who were named best of the best in their fields. These are doctors and teachers, artists and the arts, servicemen and athletes.
Overall, the list of awardees includes 40 people.
The President said that Belarusians are thankful to those who work hard and constantly makes our life better.
Belarus wants rapprochement with EU based on mutual respect
Belarus is interested in normalizing relations with the European partners based on mutually respectful principles. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with former Italy premier Romano Prodi December 17.
The influential politician is visiting Belarus as a private person. However, his views on the situation in the world are of course respectable.
Alexander Lukashenko signs Belarus' state defense directive
Belarus should do everything to ensure military and socio-political security, said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting of the country's Security Council, which considered a state defense plan, which is designed for five years.
The document outlines almost all potential threats and responses to them.
The situation around Belarus is constantly changing. Conflicts break out in the world rapidly and unpredictably.
Belarus confirms interest in tighter cooperation with African states
10 new ambassadors presented their credentials to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko December 12. The ceremony symbolizes the official start of diplomats' duties in Belarus. This time, taking part in the ceremony were ambassadors of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Ecuador and Estonia.
Credentials are formal requests of heads of other states asking the Belarusian President to accord full credence to diplomats' official statements.
Belarus needs to diversify export amid neighbors' economic problems, Alexander Lukashenko says
On December 12, the Belarusian President met with the country's Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei to discuss Belarus' multi-vector foreign policy.
The head of state touched on issues related to foreign policy and economy. He underlined the importance of increasing export. This is Mr Lukashenko's second such statement in as many days.
Russia, Belarus' main trading partner, is experiencing one of its worst economic crises in recent years.
Sanctions against Belarus affect living standards - President
Ten new ambassadors presented their credentials to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Taking part in the ceremony were ambassadors of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Egypt, Congo, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Ecuador and Estonia. Six ambassadors have a concurrent accreditation in Moscow and Kiev.
Such a rich variety of countries underlines the multi-vector foreign policy of Belarus.
Export diversification among Belarus' top priorities in 2015
Causes of the recent Belarus-Russia food dispute do not lie in Belarus, said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on December 11. The head of state held a meeting on Belarus' topical economic issues. The meeting, held amid turmoil on the market of Russia, Belarus' key trading partner, aimed to discuss Belarus' performance in foreign markets.
Alexander Lukashenko wants Belarus' economy to grow quicker
The Belarusian head of state instructed the government to achieve higher figures in 2015 than it was initially planned.
It is projected that the growth would be less than 1%.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, the country should take every opportunity to improve its macroeconomic figures.
President says Belarus not to blame for food dispute with Russia
One should not look for causes of the recent Belarus-Russia food dispute in Belarus. This statement was made by Alexander Lukashenko on December 11.
The President held a meeting on Belarus' topical economic issues.
Alexander Lukashenko wanted to hear about the current situation in foreign markets. In particular, he asked to describe the situation in Russia, whose rouble has been weakening.
Alexander Lukashenko alarmed by state of Belarus-Russia relations
The Union State of Belarus and Russia uses all the mechanisms for speedy resolution of the problem of food supplies between the two countries. To discuss the issue, the Belarusian President met on December 9 the Union State Secretary Grigory Rapota.
During the meeting the sides exchanged views on the forthcoming meeting of the Supreme Council of the Union State. The event will due in Moscow in late December.
At the meeting, the sides will consider the Union State budget for 2015. Plans have been made to introduce new guidelines concerning its adoption.
New drug dispensing rules in Belarus cause public discontent
A resolution on the new rules of dispensing drugs was discussed at the December 9 meeting of the Belarus President with the Health Minister Vasily Zharko.
The President drew attention to the supply of drugs to pharmacies and hospitals, adding that Belarusian medicines must be of a high quality.
The officials also discussed the quality of the provision of medical services.
Belarus President warns Minsk mayor against price hikes ahead of Christmas
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko supported the idea to establish a municipal trade network in Minsk during the meeting with Minsk mayor Andrei Shorets.
Mr President also asked the recently appointed mayor to make sure that prices don’t go up in stores in the run-up to New Year, one of the main public holidays in Belarus [December 31 - January 1].
Alexander Lukashenko's training session on eve of Christmas ice hockey tournament
The President of Belarus dedicated the weekend to the development of sport, including sports infrastructure in Belarus.
According to the press secretary of the head of state, on Saturday Alexander Lukashenko held a training session with the Presidential ice hockey team ahead of the Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament.
President Lukashenko calls Shakutin exemplary businessman
Alexander Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Board of Directors of OAO Amkodor Alexander Shakutin to discuss how investment projects in the field of engineering are being implemented.
The President praised the work of the successful businessman, senator and head of the Belarusian Tennis Federation. Today Alexander Shakutin is implementing 15 major projects in Belarus alone. Other 10 are in the pipeline. He has plans to develop travel services and create an agricultural holding company.
Decree: $10,000 for third child in Belarus
Young families with two minor children will be able to build housing using preferential loans with an interest of only 5%.
Such a measure is provided by a draft decree which Alexander Lukashenko discussed on December 5 with Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marianna Shchetkina. Long-term support of fertility and family capital were on the agenda.
Birth rate in Belarus has recently been pleasing. While in 2010, 109,000 kids were born per year, in 2014 the figure has increased by almost 9,000.
Belarus-Brazil: Potash, tires and clothing dominate bilateral trade
In a few days, the UN conference Rio+20 opens in Brazil. The Belarusian delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs will bring to Rio their principle offers. But Belarus is still interested in Brazil as in a promising market for Belarusian goods: today it is among the top ten major foreign economic partners of this country.
Until 1960, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil. The population of the metropolis is now around 13 million.
Alexander Lukashenko: A candidate should prove during elections he is worth becoming a president
For every country, a presidential election is a landmark event. It is always disputed and discussed during the event as well as after it. On December 19, 2010, it will have been a year since the last presidential elections in Belarus.
On the eve of this date, Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian journalist Sergei Dorenko to recall his first election campaign and ponder over the president's future after his presidential efforts are completed.
Interview with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Washington Post
In a three-hour interview with Washington Post senior associate editor Elizabeth Graham Weymouth on February 28, Alexander Lukashenko brought up Belarusian domestic policy, the December 19 presidential election and its consequences.
Would you mind if I ask you questions directly just as I ask other leaders?
It’s up to you, but sincerity and integrity are fundamental principles of relations that I appreciate.
Alexander Lukashenko: We are between two giants - the EU and Russia
The President of Belarus gave an interview to a journalist of the largest French newspaper "Le Figaro" on November 25.
The main topics of conversation: Belarus' relations with the EU and France, the Belarusian-Russian cooperation and Belarus’ foreign policy. The head of state spoke about the upcoming presidential election and gave discreet characteristics to some opposition candidates for this high post.
President Lukashenko to Polish media: Time of missed opportunities is in the past
For the first time in the history of Belarusian-Polish relations, the Belarus head of state talked with four major media outlets of a neighboring country.
Polish journalists from TV channels, radio stations, press agencies and the newspaper "Rzeczpospolita" came to Minsk to talk to the Belarus President.
Thus, the TVP channel is the most popular broadcaster in Poland. And the average circulation of the newspaper "Rzeczpospolita" exceeds 170,000 copies. One of the basic themes of the interview was the relationship between Belarus and Poland.
President Lukashenko: Belarus is interested in Eastern Partnership
Alexander Lukashenko noted that once everyone was talking about the economic initiative called Eastern Partnership very much. It was created for the active involvement of the EU's eastern neighbors into the European processes of economic and political character. However, there is more hope than reality now.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
President Lukashenko: Gas conflict with Russia is groundless
Alexander Lukashenko is confident that the Russian-Belarusian gas conflict has clearly political reasons.
Journalist Alex Doval representing Euronews asked the first question about the ongoing gas dispute. Alexander Lukashenko clearly outlined his position, noting that there was no reason for the conflict.