| POLITICS |
IMF Demands to Make “Presidential Fund” Transparent
Opposition Alone to Represent Belarus At OSCE PA Session
The fundamental statistical indices in Belarus are still drawn up “not adequately enough”. According to the opinion of the International monetary Fund, “transactions outside budget, in particular, connected to the “presidential fund”, should be included to the structure of the estimate. Such estimation is contained in the report of the spread by the IMF on the results of the IMF mission’s work in Minsk.
Colonel Was Beating Detainees
Belarusian delegation will visit today Vienna, where on February 21-22 the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will take place. The delegation includes chairman of the United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko, chair of the women’s party “Nadzeya” Valentina Polevikova and deputy head of the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party “Narodnaya Gromada” Vladimir Nistuk. All three will enjoy the observer’s status in Viena.
UN Cares for Belarusians’ Rights
An activist of the Yong Front, Dzmitser Dashkevich, lodged a complaint against the actions of the police officers during detaining participants of the youth demo on the St. Valentine’s Day. “Police officers were beating me during detention, though I was not fighting with them, was not disturbing public order. The beating continued in the car “Zhiguli”, where the officer placed me. A man in mufti was beating me with his hands on the face. The beating was accompanied by curses and threats to deal with me severely,
” – Dashkevich wrote in his complaint.
Trader in Death
The UN High Commissioner for human rights together with the leadership of the UN development program launched a project of financial assistance for the civil initiatives, promoting human rights values in Belarus.
Kuchma Accused Of New Order to Murder
Detained in Belgium a Sanjivan Rupra gave his testimony to the Belgian and American intelligence concerning the arms supplies to the “Al Qaeda” guerillas by the retired Soviet office Viktor But. The Los Angeles Times writes about this incident in its latest issue. Rupra said that he knows genuinely of many transactions between the bin Ladin’s people and Viktor But’s deals. He also pledged to detail how exactly the weaponry had been shipped to Afghanistan.
11:12, 20/02/2002, NTV
Lesya Gongadze Demands 1Grivna Reimbursement from Kuchma
Ukrainian deputy, the head of the commission of the Supreme Rada on respecting citizens’ rights in course of parliamentary elections Alexandr Elyashkevich believes that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma ordered to murder him. The attempt took place on February 9, 2000, Elyashkevich said in the course of the press conference, the site Ukraina.ru informs.
11:11, 20/02/2002, Correspondent.net
Minimal Wage Rise on March 1
Mother of the journalist Georgy Gongadze submitted into the Pechersky court of Kiev a lawsuit against the general procuracy and personally deputy prosecutor general Aleksei Baganets. Lesya Gongadze claims that the procuracy general morally abused her by having declined to consider her petition on bringing to criminal responsibility president Leonid Kuchma, Vladimir Litvin and Yuri Kravchenko, whom she holds accountable for “abducting and murdering her son”.
Lesya Gongadze demands a moral reimbursement of 1 grivna “due to the low living standard of the Ukraine nationals”.
Siemens’ Wins Tender
Minimal salary size will see another increase in March, reports RIA “Novosti” correspondent. This will take place on March 1 this year. A concomitant ruling was signed by the Belarusian government. The minimal salary will from now on be set at the level of 17thsd BLR. Therefore, the currently existing minimal wage of 10 thousand Belarusian rubles will grow by 70%.
US State Dept. Officials in Minsk
Tender on the supply of equipment for the second cellular operator of GSM standard in Belarus was won in a contest by the bidder from Germany “Siemens AG”. The decision of the special commission on declaring “Siemens” a winner, was coordinated with the Ministry of communications of Belarus February 18 night.
One More Criminal Action Brought Up Against Banker
The US State Department delegation, headed by the deputy assistant to the US Secretary of State Steven Pifer came on a visit to Minsk. Mr.Pifer is the top State Dept. official responsible for the US relations with Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. As said by the US embassy representative Aleksei Solomakha, the purpose of the visit is “the evaluation of the situation in Belarus in light of the criteria, which touch upon all countries – transparency of electoral process, freedom of speech, parliament’s real authority and political climate free from repressions.”
Moreover, Steven Pifer “will discuss the issues of weaponry sale and military training of representatives of states, groups and organizations, which alert us most.”
Representative of the Khvastous’ Family Clan Under Investigation
The Public prosecutor’s office brought up a criminal action against the head of one of the largest branches of “Belarusbank” Larisa Balabanova. As “Radio Svaboda” informs, Larisa Balabanova is charged with buying office furniture at too high prices while she worked a main bookkeeper in the regional administration of the “Belarusbank” in 1996.
“Pahonya’s” Editor Blames KGB Over Case Fabrication
In Navapolatsk the acting director of the state enterprise “Disna” (Navapolatsk market) Mikhail Aliokhin is under investigation. Last week he was detained on charges relating bribery. Navapolatsk branch of the Department on Economic Crimes refused to comment on this fact and information that the rifle and a big sum of money in dollars were confiscated by search, and that in the storage areas of the market the goods were found that were not registered in documents.
The editor-in-chief of the Grodno newspaper “Pahonya” Nikolai Markevich was summoned to the procuracy in order to familiarize himself with the materials of the libel suit, opened for alleged insult of the incumbent president. “After five-hour long detailed analysis of the two huge case files I can tell you with full certainty – there’s no case as such! There’s but a wild desire to incarcerate journalists, but there’s no corpus delicti whatsoever,”
– said Markevich in an interview to Radio Svaboda: “Firstly, the information about KGB traces in our case found confirmation. The case starts with the description of the episode where the head of the KGB department for Grodno region colonel Svorob addressed the region’s prosecutor Vassily Litvinov with a request to give legal evaluation to the materials, published in the newspapers issue #36 of September 5. The address dates back to September 5. By then the paper hadn’t been published yet, which is clearly seen from the case files. Plus we learnt that nobody had read the seditious issue except Pavel Mozheiko – the author of the article.”
11:04, 20/02/2002, “Narodnaya Volya”
SPS Criticizes Lukashenka’s Policy Over Russian Companies
Assistant director general of the Minsk tractor plant Vladimir Medvedev has recently filed in resignation. Vladimir Timofeevich claims that this was a necessary step on his behalf and that in reality his dismissal is connected with the publication “Leonov still harbors hope”
, published in “Narodnaya Volya” on January 22. On January 18 the NV correspondent rendezvoused at the tractor plant with the director general’s attorney Nikolai Shalimo. In a conversation, recorded on tape, there took part the lawyer, the MTP press-secretary Vadim Bitsan and assistant director general Vladimir Medvedev. Medvedev sought to analyze the situation, which occurred at the plant following Mikhail Leonov’s arrest. However, he asked not to mention his name in the materials, claiming that the plant’ authorities banned anyone, except for deputy director for communication with press Nikolai Stukach, to give any commentaries on the issue.
Contest for Hymn-Writers Underway in Belarus
Russia must not consent to merge into a closer union with Belarus against her own economic interests, deems the leader of the SPS (union of write-wing forces) party and parliamentary faction in State Duma Boris Nemtsov. In his interview to “Interfax” Nemtsov criticized the policy of the Belarusian authorities in relation to such Russian companies as “Baltika”, “Slavneft”, “Gasprom”, “Lukoil”. As deemed by the SPS leader, the official Minsk “wants to suck from our country the money and the resources, giving it nothing in return”.
According to Nemtsov, he delivered this position of his during his Monday meeting in Moscow to the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
January Inflation Amounts to 6,1%
Official Belarus announced a competition for the creation of the new national anthem. The concomitant ruling has been passed by the country’s Cabinet of Ministers. At the moment during the festive ceremonies and events they play the old Soviet hymn only without words. Under the contest’s conditions, the text of the new hymn must be written in Belarusian and, alongside with the music, it has to “proclaim the idea of the Belarusian statehood, bear musical clearness, be easy to remember, sound solemnly and be of a marching rhythm.”
Inflation in Belarus in January 2002 constituted 6,1% against 5,5% in December 2001, reported the Ministry of statistics and analysis. In January 2001 the inflation reached 4,8%. Prices on paid services in January 2002 went 4,1% up, on foodstuffs – 7,5%, while on industrial goods – 2,6%. Index of prices of the manufacturers of the industrial products rose to 103,5%, including on the production facilities – 103,4$, intermediary goods – 102,7%, consumer ones – 105,4%.