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Belarus

Yearbook 2019

Belarus. According to CountryAAH, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided in November to change its name to Belarus for political reasons. This happened in connection with the Foreign Minister Ann Linde visiting the capital Minsk together with Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. The change of name was made, according to Linde, as "a recognition of Belarusian civil society and the people who have long wanted to emphasize their country's national identity and sovereignty". The name change was not anchored among official language preservation bodies in Sweden.

2019 Belarus

In the elections to both parliamentary chambers on November 17, all 110 seats were the party that supported President Aljaksandr Lukashenka. According to international election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the election showed "a lack of respect for democratic commitments". So far, the organization has not been able to call a single election in Belarus democratic. The intention was that the elections would take place in 2020, but that was premature. The turnout was 71%. In connection with the election, the President announced that he will run for the 2020 presidential election.

Ten years ago, the US cut its diplomatic ties with Belarus. In September, the two countries decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations. The message came just weeks after US security adviser John Bolton visited Minsk. The United States imposed sanctions on the country in 2006, and when they were tightened in 2008, President Lukashenka chose to expel the US ambassador.

At the beginning of the year, speculation emerged that Belarus and the Russian Federation were approaching each other, all according to a 1999 agreement that stipulated, among other things, a single currency and common courts. At the same time, however, there are signs that President Lukashenka is eager to forge ties with the EU.

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