• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Belarus was fully integrated with Russia until the Gorbachev reforms of the mid-1980s encouraged demands for greater freedom. On 25 Aug. 1991 Belarus declared its independence and in Dec. it became a founder member of the CIS. The Communists retained power in Belarus despite formidable opposition and it was not until a new constitution was adopted in March 1994 that the economic reformers began to influence events. Alyaksandr Lukashenka was elected president in July 1994. By 1996 only 11% of state enterprises had been privatized and the government remains pro-Russian, striving for eventual unification with Russia within the Russia-Belarus Union. A referendum held over 9–24 Nov. 1996 extended the President’s term of office from three to five years and increased his powers to rule by decree. The last three parliamentary elections have been criticized by the OSCE for a lack of transparency.


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Further Reading

  1. Balmaceda, Margarita M., Independent Belarus: Domestic Determinants, Regional Dynamics and Implications for the West. 2003Google Scholar
  2. Korosteleva, Elena, Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship. 2002Google Scholar
  3. Marples, D. R., Belarus: from Soviet Rule to Nuclear Catastrophe. 1996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. White, Stephen, Postcommunist Belarus. 2004Google Scholar
  5. Zaprudnik, J., Belarus at the Crossroads in History. 1993Google Scholar
  6. National Statistical Office: Ministry of Statistics and Analysis of the Republic of Belarus, 14 Partizansky Avenue, Minsk 220070.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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