Belarus in Search of New Identity: Democratic Transition or Resilience?


Belarus in Search of New Identity: Democratic Transition or Resilience?

Even though Belarus is no longer considered “Europe's last dictatorship," the East European country is slow to improve its human rights record and political system. There has been a gradual, cautious economic liberalization and the government's attitude toward civil society has been shifting. Repressions against political activists and independent journalists have become milder in nature, the interaction with civil society has intensified in various fields including human rights, and there is generally more civic space.

Amidst a tense geopolitical situation in the region and Russia’s intensified information and economic influence, Minsk is trying hard to carefully balance its actions and improving its image in the West.

With the support U.S. Agency for International Development Pact has been working to develop civil society in Belarus since 2005. Through funding and technical assistance, Pact is helping civic actors to mobilize and organize citizens to take ownership of their future and positively affect transformation on the local and national levels.

Pact is pleased to invite you to an off-the-record discussion with Belarusian civic activists and independent analysts about societal, economic, foreign policy and regional security developments and prospects in Belarus. The panelists are in Washington as part of a briefing delegation visit funded by USAID.

Moderator: Vasili Kukharchyk, Pact's country director in Belarus


Yauheni Preiherman, Minsk Dialogue Initiative (a Track-2 initiative to advance dialogue on regional security)

Dr. Kateryna Bornukova, BEROC (one of Belarus's most advanced economic think tank)

Sveta Zinkevich, OEEC (an NGO dedicated to strengthening grassroots civil society)

Comments:  Jonathan D. Katz, Senior Fellow, the German Marshall Fund of the United States

This roundtable discussion will run approximtely 90 minutes. 

RSVP to Peter Newman at