According to the preliminary information, the expenditure on the launching of the Second National TV channel would make USD 2.2 million, "Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta" informs. Moreover, as the newspaper has found out, it is planned the BT-2 (Belarusian Television-2) would broadcast instead of ORT (Public Russian Television) at its frequencies. The energetic negotiations are under way now, and while the authorization of the ORT channel was not received yet, according the informal information, the Belarusian project had attracted the deputy director general Alexandr Lubimov, who is ready to give four-five hours of broadcasting a day to the Belarusians.
The property of the editor-in-chief of the Hrodna independent newspaper "Pahonya" that was shut down by the authorities, Mikalai Markevich, including washing machine, TV set and vacuum cleaner, was distrained. The justification for their confiscation was Markevich`s refusal to pay the fine for the unsanctioned picket in defense of his newspaper. In case the fine would not be paid until February 18, the editor will lose the above-mentioned assets.
Representatives of the Belarusian opposition political parties will take part in the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, that is scheduled for February 21-22 in Vienna. A special letter from the PA OSCE president Adrian Severin was sent to the head of the Consultative Council of the Oppositional Political Parties.The Belarusian delegation is to participate in the session as observers. The members of the delegation will be Anatol Lyabedzka, Uladzimer Nistiuk, Valentina Polevikova
At the press conference on February 12 in Minsk Lukashenka declared that the four requirements of the West to normalize the relations of the world community with the country, are not acceptable. "If they don`t want to cooperate with us, than we do not need them. We are not distressed by that a lot. We know or price, we know where we are situated and why we are important for Europe", - he said. Then he spoke about the recent visit of the PA OSCE working group headed by Uta Zapf, MP of the Bundestag. "It is not a great event. Some deputy has come, and the whole country is head over heels. Imagine that our deputy comes to Germany or France. What would their mass media write? Nobody would care. That is why our policy with the OSCE does not depend on us. I said so when receiving the Ambassador of the European Union. If you want- than let`s cooperate. If not - do not get on our nerves".
The Belarusian side intends to raise the issue about the deployment of foreign troops on CIS territory during the informal summit of the CIS heads of state, scheduled for early March in Alma-Ata. This news was announced on Tuesday by Alexander Lukashenko. “How come in certain countries, which are parties to the Treaty on CIS collective defense, there appeared foreign troops and were created military bases without the preliminary consent of other Treaty participants?” – said the Belarusian leader. According to Alexander Lukashenko, it is “a violation and devaluation of the treaty,” – reports ITAR-TASS.
Alyaxandar Lukashenka believes that the prospects of relations’ development between Belarus and the OSCE do not depend on the Belarusian side. It was said by Lukashenka when he answered questions of the RIA “Novosti” correspondent. “We are open and want to cooperate with the OSCE, but we would not let ‘break us against the knee’ ”, -- he said. As said by him, the requirements of the OSCE to the leadership of Belarus are dictated by the opposition. In particular, one of these requirements, that concerns the broadening of the parliament’s functions, “actually suggests breaking the existing system of power in the country”, that is unacceptable for the leadership of the country, Lukashenka underlined.
On February, 12 at the criminal proceedings over Alyaxandar Chyhir (a son of the former Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Chyhir), Anton Yashyn and Zmitser Yutskevich an important, as the defense believes, appeal, was turned down. Three young men are accused of car thefts that were performed by an organized group (Article 205, Part 4 of the Criminal Code of the republic of Belarus). They could face a sentence from 7 to 15 years in jail with confiscation of property. On February, 10 a year has passed from the moment of A. Chyhir’s arrest.
“Baltika” brewery addressed the international arbitrage court of the Russian trade-industrial palace with a lawsuit against the Minsk brewery “Krinitsa”. However, “Baltika’s” legal department declines to disclose the nature of the lawsuit.
Coordination council of Russian and Belarusian trade unions, whose session was held on February 12 in Smolensk, expressed protest against the ruling of the Cabinet of Ministers of Belarus of December 14, 2001 “On measures to protect the rights of the professional unions’ members”, allowing the payment and transfer of dues in a non-cash way. Chairman of the Federation of independent trade unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov and chair of the Federation of trade unions of Belarus Frants Vitko signed a statement, in which they called this document “cynical, destroying the trade unions and violating human rights”.
As we learnt from the reliable sources, on February 11 there were drawn the conclusions on the international tender for supplying equipment to build the network of the second GSM operator in Belarus, conducted by the national communications company “Intercity communications” and “Mobile TeleSystems”. The contest had been won by the Siemens. Under the conditions of tender the winner is supposed to supply infrastructure equipment of GSM 900/1800 standard to construct a second cellular network in Belarus.
From July 1, 2003 Poland introduces visas for the citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. This decision was passed by the government of Poland on Tuesday. The head of the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers Mihal Tober informed that the introduction of the visa regime is the necessary condition for all countries that aspire to join the European Union. The Polish government tried to put off introduction of this measure as long as possible, he said. As for the visas receiving, Tober underlined, it should be as simplified as possible, not causing extra obstacles for common citizens by entry to Poland. Poland is the only country in the Central Europe aspiring to join the EU, that has not introduced visas for Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian citizens. Last year 29 millions of the citizens of these countries have visited Poland.