The Ministry of statistics of Belarus sees no necessity in collecting information about the state’s shipment of ammunition abroad, said deputy chief of the Ministry Vladislav Metezh at the press-conference in Minsk. “Do we need this for the GDP? No. And so we don’t gather such data. That’s the Security Council or Defense Ministry’s business,” – noted Metezh.
A few dozen thousand signatures were gathered by the public foundation “The Belarusian organization of employed women” in support of Zinaida Gonchar’s plea to help her locate her husband – famous Belarusian politician Viktor Gonchar, who vanished in September 1999.
The Supreme Economic Court declined to review its own decision to shut down the newspaper “Pagonya”. Such a reply, signed by the deputy chair of the SEC Egorov, to the submitted complaint was received today by “Pagonya’s” editorial board.
Viktor Rakhmanko’s successor at the Belarusian railroad’s director’s post became Vasily Gapeev. According to Alexander Lukashenko, he is an honest man, “faithful to the state, people and industry.” In relation to the former head of the railway they instituted criminal action, placing him under house arrest.
There became known some nuances of the so-called “Klimovichi case”. This lawsuit was opened last December in the Klimovichi district of the Mogilev region. One of the defendants on the case was the district council chair Vladimir Konovalov.
This opinion was voiced by the chairman of the Greek Catholic community of Polotsk Nikolai Sharah. “As a proof of this let me cite one example: our denomination received back only one of the many temples, previously belonging to the Uniate church (1559-1839), which it lost after the country’s accession to the Russian empire,” – BelaPAN quotes Sharah as saying.
Baranovichi authorities denied the Baptist church in renting the hall in which they could pass out the humanitarian aid. “Gazeta dlya vas” reported that the Baranovichi church of evangelical Baptist Christians received a humanitarian aid from abroad – 1,5 thousand gifts. They initially planned to run a party for handicapped kids and give them the presents. However, the town council denied them the space for doing that. Last year Christians from this church rented a Palace of officers and staged there a holiday for disabled children.
In 2001 the trade turnover between Belarus and Russia fell by 0,8%, amounting to $9bln190,4mln, reports the “Finmarket” agency with a reference to the press-service of the Russian State Committee for taxation. Nonetheless, Belarus remains Russia’s main partner among the former USSR countries and second after Germany among all the world’s countries.
Belarus is highly interested in cooperation with Latin America and especially Bolivia – the country with the great potential, said Alexander Lukashenko during his meeting with the head of the Bolivian diplomatic mission. Bolivia’s plenipotentiary ambassador for Russia and Belarus Gonsalo de Acha Prado handed in on February 6 his credentials to the Belarusian leader.
In the year 2001 the national pension system, built around the distribution principle, felt upon itself a significant influence of the deteriorating financial condition of companies, which are the main payees of the insurance dues, said at the February 6 Minsk briefing the Minister of culture and social protection of Belarus Antonina Morova. According to her, this, in first turn, has seriously limited the possibilities to enhance the level of pensions. The restricted financial resources also prevent them from strengthening the insurance principles of the pension system and carrying out the necessary differentiation of pension size depending on the insurance base.
According to the January 31, 2002 statistics, the size of the salary indebtedness in the Mogilev region reached 5,5bln rubles, which is 10% of the monthly salary fund. Out of this sum 2,2bln rubles falls on the agricultural companies, 1,7bln – on industrial ones, 800mln – on construction organizations.
The agreement on the terms and time of the allocation to Belarus of the third tranche of the credit from the Central Bank of Russia is to be finally coordinated by April, 1. It was said to Interfax by the first deputy of the National Bank of Belarus’ chair Pavel Kallaur who commented on the results of the meeting of the Central Banks’ heads in Pskov on February, 4.
In an interview to the newspaper “Sovietskaya Belorussiya” the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Khvostov said that “the position of the US ambassador in Belarus Michael Kozak has changed. A man, who’s been living in Belarus for more than a year now, sees our country, its president, its government and its people’s lives in a different perspective now.” In response, the US embassy said the following on February 6: “We can categorically state that the US policy towards Belarus hasn’t changed”. The American government also recalled ambassador Kozak’s speech at the November 24, 2001 Minsk forum, where he said: “We got to be most unambiguous and concrete as we are telling the Belarusian authorities and nation what we demand from them: the rule of law, under which both peaceful political opposition and the civil society can act the way they do in other countries – that is without fear. The system, under which any viewpoint can be expressed through media – both state and independent ones – and not be followed by censorship or fear of repression. Also transparent and democratic electoral process. And, finally, the return to the legislative and judiciary powers of their sovereign authority.”
The court of the Soviet district of Homel has declined the complaint of the father of the departed Zubr activist Andrei Zaitsau about public prosecutor’s office’s actions. The father went to court as the Soviet district prosecutor’s office denied to instigate legal proceedings and investigate all the circumstances of his son, who was recruited by KGB.
At noon on February 11, on the forth anniversary since the arrest of the famous 13th Supreme Soviet parliamentary and businessman Andrei Klimov, the activists of the United Civil Party will form a “chain of those who care” near the jail in the Kalvariyskaya street of Minsk where Klimov is currently serving his term. As you remember, Andrei Klimov had been sentenced by the Leninsky court of Minsk to six years of imprisonment for alleged large-scale theft and forgery during the construction of the block of flats in the Lodochnaya street in Minsk. Andrei didn’t confess his guilt, his defense claimed absence of corpus delicti on his part, while the international and domestic human rights watchdogs stated the political motives behind the incarceration.
Alexander Lukashenko’s decree on the announcement of elections into the local authorities will appear in late November-early December 2002, said during the February 6 meeting with the press the chairwoman of the Central Electoral Commission for elections and referenda Lydia Ermoshina. CEC head explained that in accordance with the Constitution and the Electoral Code the elections into the local soviets are to be carried out at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their predecessors’ mandate, which is due to take place on April 4, 2003. Under the existing legislation the electoral commissions are given three months for preparations. Thus, the local elections must be announced before December 4, 2002.
Last year, reports the Ministry for taxation of Belarus, 1,119 employees of the country’s tax inspections have been brought to the disciplinary accountability. 19 lawsuits had been instituted against 25 inspectors. The Ministry notes that the existence of such facts testifies to the insufficient prophylactic work and low requirements, set by the chiefs before their subordinates. Thus, they need to intensify the staff potential of the tax bodies.
Preparation of the technical-economic justification of the project on laying down the gas pipeline, which would go round the territory of Ukraine through Poland, is still underway, reports the “Gasprom’s” press-service. Concrete steps on this project will be passed not until the consideration of this document, reads their statement. During the Monday session of “Gasprom’s” board they didn’t raise the issue of launching a gas pipe’s branch “Kobrin-Vilke Kapushany” around the territory of Ukraine into Poland.
Georgia and Belarus happened to become leaders among the former USSR countries in the growth of the official exchange rate of the US dollar. This is the result of the analysis of the indices obtained by BelaPAN from the Central Banks of these states. The official exchange rate in Georgia has risen by 6.65% over month (from 2.06 to 2.1969 lari), and in Belarus by 3.67% (from 1,580 to 1,638 BYB).
Consequences of the Chernobyl disaster still have negative affect on the millions of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians. Such a conclusion has been drawn by the UN experts in their report. They claim that the local authorities are doing little to improve the situation on the contaminated territories. In this connection there’s still a need for the international aid. However, deem the United Nations specialists, the character of this aid has to be transformed, meaning the support of the economic development of the polluted districts.