Belarus is a country located in Eastern Europe. Faced with the threat of shut down gas supplies from Russia, Belarus agreed at the New Year more than doubled the Russian gas price. At the same time, Russia imposed export tax on crude oil to Belarus. As a result, the country lost large revenue through the processing and further export of Russian oil. President Aljaksandr Lukashenka’s regime responded to Russia by imposing taxes on Russian crude oil – almost a third of Russia’s oil exports – which are transported to Western Europe through Belarusian pipelines. When the flow of Russian oil through Belarus to Poland, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary was stopped, the EU countries accused Belarus of being behind. Minsk refused and the EU instead pointed Moscow as guilty. After a few days, the oil began to flow west again. Belarus had then, in negotiations with Russia, given up the tax requirement for oil to the west and Russia had sharply reduced its tax on crude oil exports. But shortly after the settlement, Lukashenka came with charges against Moscow for wanting to integrate Belarus with Russia. The good relations between Minsk and Moscow seemed to be over, and the Kremlin seemed to have tired of subsidizing a regime that developed in the anti-Russian direction. According to CountryAAH, Minsk is the capital city of Belarus.
Foreign political analysts believed that a deteriorating Belarusian economy could force political changes in Europe’s last dictatorship. But the hard-pressed political opposition did not see much hope. Several of the candidates from last year’s presidential election had been sentenced to multi-year prison sentences. Now Lukashenka’s 30-year-old son was raised as a member of the National Security Council, at the same time as the regime struck again against the opposition. In February, police arrested about 30 people who met with participants from all over the country. Ahead of the Belarusian Independence Day in March, the authorities adopted a law against swearing in order to imprison oppositionists and the police to intervene against youth who wore EU badges. On Independence Day, the opposition held a demonstration in Minsk with about 15,000 participants. Opposition leader Aljaksandr Milinkevich explained that they were not alone but “Europe stands by our side”. At the same time, a message came from the President of the European Commission, which promised partnership agreements and greatly increased support for Belarus, if the regime ceased its self-elected isolation and chose freedom, democracy and respect for human rights.
In May, the opposition held congress with 600 participants to choose the leadership of a joint organization. But instead, there was a split when Aljaksandr Milinkevich refused to become one of five chairmen. He broke with the other leaders and decided to form his own movement. Anatoly Lebedko of the United Citizens Party defended the idea of shared leadership by not having a single leader who was respected by the entire opposition. Lebedko was elected as one of four leaders along with a nationalist, a communist and a social democrat.
In July, two opposition youth leaders were arrested for robbery, but were then jailed for two weeks for holding leaflets for an illegal concert. Other opposition representatives were also arrested. The police also prevented protesters from gathering in Minsk for a demonstration.
In August, the gas conflict with Russia flared up again. The state-owned Russian company Gazprom threatened to cut gas deliveries in half, unless Belarus paid its debt of more than SEK 3 billion. Belarus bowed and gas supplies continued.
Following the energy conflicts with Russia, President Lukashenka declared in October that Belarus was planning to build its own nuclear power plant to secure its energy supply. Lukashenka’s speech raised concerns in the West, where it was noted that he had contacts with Iran during the year, whose regime was suspected of trying to manufacture nuclear weapons. At the same time, Belarussian Prime Minister Syarhey Sidorski visited Lithuania where he said that Belarus wants to participate in the planned Lithuanian construction of a new nuclear reactor in Ignalina at the Belarussian border.
In October, the women’s party Nadzea (Hope) was banned by the Supreme Court of Belarus. Earlier, the opposition Communist Party had also dissolved and six other parties had received warnings, including The Social Democrats and the Belarusian People’s Front.
A demonstration in Minsk in support of Belarusian membership in the EU gathered around 6,000 people in October, far fewer than the organizers had hoped. Before the manifestation, the opposition had been harassed by the regime and different thinking had been seized. Most of the participants were young people, and many wore EU flags and banners demanding the freedom of political prisoners and the closure of Russian military bases in Belarus.
In November, signals came from Moscow that Russia may place robots in Belarus as a possible response to US plans for a robot shield in Belarus’s neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic.
In December, the Belarusian police made harsh blows against opposition supporters demonstrating ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Minsk. During the visit, Putin promised unchanged gas prices for Belarus for the new year and a credit equivalent to close to SEK 100 billion.
Belarus weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 1 ° C and 18 ° C can be expected over the next three months. May is still the mildest in Minsk, but March is noticeably colder..
In March, at about 10 days can be expected precipitation in April at about 9 days in May at about 9 days.
In the period from March to May the sun shines on average between 4 and 8 hours a day. The sunniest weather in Minsk is in May, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.