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Belarus History Timeline

2000s

  • (2000) Parliamentary elections were criticized by election observers, said they were not free and fair; turnout was low, a rerun was necessary
  • (2001) Lukashenko re-elected second term; opposition and western observers said elections were unfair and undemocratic
  • (2002) Lukashenko rejected Russian proposals for new form of union under Russian constitution with single government and single parliament
  • (2002) U.S. and 14 EU states imposed travel ban on Lukashenko and several government ministers over poor human rights record, after OSCE officials are told to leave
  • (2003) US, EU lifted travel ban on president and ministers after OSCE readmitted
  • (2004) Council of Europe condemned human rights abuses after report accused authorities of blocking investigation into the fate of four men with opposition links who disappeared in Minsk in 1999 and 2000
  • (2004) EU imposed travel restrictions on several senior officials
  • (2004) Referendum backed change that allowed president to serve more than previous limit of two terms
  • (2004) Opposition failed to win a single seat in parliamentary elections held at the same time; western observers said vote was not free or fair; US imposed sanctions
  • (2004) Opposition politician Mikhail Marinich jailed for allegedly stealing office equipment
  • (2005) Parliament approved bill setting out tough penalties for those found guilty of inciting demonstrations
  • (2006) Dozens arrested at opposition demonstrations; President Lukashenko declared winner
  • (2006) EU imposed visa ban on President Lukashenko
  • (2006) Defeated presidential election candidate Alexander Milinkevich jailed for 15 days after attended rally for Chernobyl disaster anniversary
  • (2006) Dmitriy Dashkevich jailed for 18 months for membership of an unregistered organization
  • (2006) New gas bill signed with Russia, more than doubled the price and phased in further increased prices over four years
  • (2007) Russia cut supply along an oil export pipeline to Europe amid allegations over siphoning and taxation with Belarus; dispute ended after Russia agreed to cut the oil duty it will charge Belarus
  • (2007) Belarus failed in bid to win a seat on the UN Human Rights Council
  • (2007) President Lukashenko said he was ready to host Russian missiles if the U.S. set up bases in Poland and the Czech Republic
  • (2008) Belarus refused to release former presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin, imprisoned on charges of organizing protests against the 2006 elections
  • (2008) Alexander Kozulin and two other dissidents freed from prison
  • (2008) Government candidates won all 110 seats in parliamentary polls
  • (2008) U.S. lifted some of its sanctions after the democratic reform
  • (2008) EU lifted its travel ban on President Alexander Lukashenko
  • (2009) President Lukashenko declined the EU invitation to attend the "Eastern Partnership" summit
2000s continued
  • (2009) Russia imposed ban on Belarusian dairy products, ostensibly on health grounds
  • (2009) Belarus set customs posts on its border with Russia as a trade dispute between the two countries escalated
  • (2010) Belarus threatened to cut electricity supply to Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad in wake of unresolved dispute over Russian oil supplies to Belarus
  • (2010) Compromise was reached over the amount of duty-free oil Russia would supply Belarus; Belarus paid gas debt, supplies resumed
  • (2010) Belarus signed up for customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan
  • (2010) Protests erupted after President Alexander Lukashenko won re-election
  • (2011) Protests in Minsk against the rule of Alexander Lukashenko due to severe economic crisis
  • (2011) Government banned assemblies and gatherings, made them illegal
  • (2011) 11 people were killed, more than 100 injured after explosion struck subway station in Minsk in a terrorist attack
  • (2011) Belarus requested emergency loan of up to $8 billion from the IMF
  • (2011) Russia decreased by half, its electricity supplies to Belarus over unpaid bills
  • (2011) Ruble fell drastically
  • (2011) Human rights activist Ales Belyatski found guilty of tax evasion, sentenced to four and a half years in prison; EU claimed case was politically motivated, called for Belyatski's immediate release
  • (2012) Belarus asked head of EU's delegation in Minsk, and Polish ambassador to leave
  • (2012) Belarus announced it was withdrawing its ambassadors from Brussels and Warsaw
  • (2012) EU announced withdrawal of its envoys from Belarus
  • (2012) Swedish ad team dropped hundreds of teddy bears carrying message promoting human rights; Belarus said it was a violation of their air space
  • (2012) Swedish ambassador forced out of Belarus
  • (2012) Sweden ordered to close its embassy in Minsk

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.