Head of the primary organization of the Independent Belarusian Trade Union of the Minsk automatic lines Mikhail Vodchyts addressed February 15 Alexander Lukashenko with an open letter, in which he speaks of the dire straits of the Belarusian enterprises.
Due to the growth of taxes, imposed on the alcoholic products, the prices on white vodka went 3,5% up. At the moment half-liter bottle of "Crystal-100" cost 1.600BLR (previously 1.548BLR), "Crystal-lux" and "Belaya Rus" - 1.649 (1596), "Belaya Rus-lux" - 1.711 (1.658). This price-increase on vodka is just another one in a row this year. The previous one occurred on January 12 (also by 3,5%).
Kazakhstan is leading among the CIS states in terms of an average monthly income, calculated in USD equivalent, read the documents of the CIS Committee for Statistics. Average monthly wage of a Kazakhstan employee equaled in 2000 to 94 dollars, whereas the minimum salary level in Tajikistan constituted only $8,7 per person. Relatively high incomes have been registered in Russia ($81) and Belarus ($74). Average salary in Azerbaijan was $46, Ukraine - $42, Armenia - $39, Moldova - $33, Kirgizya - $25.
Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree, under which starting from February 23 taxes will be levied on foreign citizens for driving in their vehicles along Belarus motorways. They will pay tolls either in US dollars or Russian rubles, reports the president`s press-service. Moreover, the decree obliges owners of the trucks, registered abroad, to pay customs in dollars or other foreign currency.
Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia Aleksii the Second claims there`s no chance for Pope`s soon journey to Russia. However, he hopes that "sooner or later the misunderstandings between the two churches will be overcome". Deacon of the Russian Orthodox church noted that when they discussed the possibility, Aleksii-II insisted that Rome must sign a pledge to cease the proselytism practice and no longer struggle for the ownership of the temples. The Pope, however, refused to include these two statements into the final declaration text. The Patriarch is seriously alarmed by the fact that "in post-Soviet times the Catholic church unfurled broad proselyte activities on the territory of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Former chief of Eltsin`s Administration Pavel Borodin received $25mln. commission for the reconstruction works in the Kremlin, reads the statement of the Accusation Chamber of Switzerland. Swiss official sources report that the present-day "secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union" is indicted by the Swiss authorities for his participation in a criminal campaign, laundering $25mln. All the corresponding documentation has recently been submitted to the Federal Court of Brooklyn. At the moment the papers are being examined by experts, whereas Borodin`s attorney will get an access to them in a week`s time from now.
Russian and Belarusian experts are finishing their work over the military doctrine of the Union State of Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, reports ITAR-TASS with a reference to the first deputy chief of the General Military Headquarters of Russia, colonel-general Valery Manilov: "The military doctrine of our two states enjoys great future perspectives." The general added that "the result will be announced when the competent structures consider the doctrine`s text." Then "when on the expert level they finish their activities, the doctrine will be submitted for further consideration to the state leadership."
Two out of three young fellows, detained February 10 in Minsk - Alexander Chigir (son of the country`s former PM) and Sergei Kolyada - will serve another ten days in custody. The guys were captured by Minsk law-enforcers while purchasing car spare parts at the car market in Malinovka residential area. They are indicted for large-scale property theft (art.205/4 of the Penal Code). The detainees were transferred from the police jail to the pre-trial confinement of the Minsk city council.
The rally, organized yesterday by the youth opposition organizations ended in a few arrests of its participants, reports Radio "Svaboda". At the very beginning of the action the cops captured two Youth Front activists - Mihas Chizhik and Pavel Kosmach.
October 4, 1980 1st Secretary of the Belarusian Communist Party Petr Masherov was killed in a road accident on the Minsk-Moscow highway. The jury accused the truck driver Nikolai Pustovit guilty of the crash and sentenced him to 15 years of jail. However, Pustovit had nothing to do with any of the eight reasons, which caused the incident: the traffic rules were violated by Masherov and his guards. As far as there has been no rehabilitation of the driver, the participating sides put all the blame for it on Pustovit. Masherov`s family, for instance, calls it "political murder" and uses this in promotion purposes. In the new article, available in Russian at www.postfactum.com there`s a thorough analysis of the episodes, which caused the crash. The author proves total innocence of the truck driver Pustovit.
Another administrative action was launched against well-known opposition activist, chairing Borisov affiliate of the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party (Narodnaya Gromada), Alexander Abramovich. His case was considered February 14 in the Borisov city court. Judge Tatyana Golub found him guilty of disrespectful attitude to the court jury and fined 5 minimum wages.
This year saw rotation in the staff of the diplomatic missions of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Practically all their envoys in European countries, appointed by the former president Slobodan Milosevic, are withdrawn home by the new country`s ruler Voislav Kostunica. The process also touched upon the Republic of Belarus, whose leadership sought to demonstrate its brotherly attitude to the rejected Slobo. Remember how Lukashenko promised him all-round assistance, military one included? But now things are no longer the way they used to be in Belgrade. February 15 former Yugoslav ambassador in Belarus Milorad Radevic leaves Minsk for Belgrade.