Published 7 October 2019
The year 2018 saw the first investment treaty arbitrations involving the republic of Belarus. As of now, four cases are known. In three of them the Belarusian State is respondent. Another one concerns a Belarusian investor resorting to arbitration against Cyprus, alleging a violation of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Belarus and Cyprus. In the three cases where Belarus is the respondent State two arbitral tribunals were constituted at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) and one at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). As a plaintiff in one of the abovementioned cases, a Belarusian investor has submitted the dispute for settlement to the ICSID. These first investment treaty arbitrations involving Belarus draws attention to foreign investment protection in Belarus and raises the question of the Belarusian State's take on international investment law. It also sheds a new light on previous foreign investment cases which did not lead to international arbitration. There are several factors that may explain the initiation of those disputes one of the most important being the stakeholders involved. If these first cases signal a new inclination of foreign investors towards investment arbitration, is this dispute resolution mechanism available to them and to what extent? Therefore, to assess Belarus's exposure to investment arbitration disputes, attention should be paid not only to foreign investment and foreign investors in Belarus, but also to the access of the latter to international arbitration. Looking at the level of protection granted to foreign investors and Belarus's consent to arbitration in the event of a dispute should inform us about the likelihood of new arbitration proceedings.
This paper will be part of the TDM Special Issue on "The Changing Paradigm of Dispute Resolution and Investment Protection in Post-soviet and Greater Eurasian Space". More information here www.transnational-dispute-management.com/news.asp?key=1745