Former Belarusian ambassador in Tokyo Petr Kravchenko intends to set off for Minsk on December 27-29, said he to the group of Russian journalists. RIA “Novosti” reports that they met in the Russian embassy in Japan during the reception, organized for the chairman of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznev, who’s currently on an official visit to Japan.
Former Belarusian ambassador in Japan Petr Kravchenko wants to become the president of Belarus, reports ITAR-TASS. Russian journalists were told by Kravchenko on December 3 in Tokyo that he does not rule out a possibility that he may nominate himself for the presidency at the next presidential elections. He declared that he was Vyacheslav Kebich’s substitute at the 1994 ballot and rested on the support of the country’s most influential organization – the Union of industrialists of Belarus.
Almost every high-ranking Belarusian official dreams of being once sent to the embassy of some quiet West European country, far from this fuss, fears and manhunt. Last week saw the beginning of the diplomatic career of Alexander Kozulin – rector of the country’s main educational institution – Belarusian State University.
Former Belarusian ambassador in Japan Petr Kravchenko disappeared on Saturday. There immediately spread rumors that they saw him near the entrance to the US embassy in Japan and that he had the embassy funds and stamp with him. In Minsk he was hastily proclaimed an ambassador in exile. However, yesterday Mr.Kravchenko turned up in the Japanese Foreign Ministry and called everything a “political provocation”, saying that he doesn’t travel home “for medical reasons”. And walked away.
The Committee for punishments is currently deciding where they should send the editor of the newspaper “Rabochy”, sentenced to two years of freedom restriction for his article “A Thief Belongs to Prison”, published by the newspaper in the heat of the electoral campaign. The Pervomaisky court of Minsk considers the publication to be an offense to Lukashenko and his encirclement. “I was summoned to the Sovietsky police station. They took away my documents there and took my fingerprints. I was told that within the next ten days they would summon me again and tell into what town I will have to travel. At the moment, I am waiting for their final solution,” – Radio Svaboda was told by Viktor Ivashkevich.
Belarusian Foreign Minister Mikhail Khvostov intends to engage in the OSCE Ministers’ meeting, due to take place on December 6-7 in Porto (Portugal). The official said that in his interview to “Mediafact” on Monday in Minsk. The head of the Belarusian Foreign Minister underscored that the Belarusian side is “ready to discuss the summit’s daily agenda”. He didn’t rule out that in course of the session they will raise a question about the EU travel ban, imposed on Lukashenko and his crew by 14 out of 15 EU member-states, Portugal being the only exception. This, however, he said, is out of OSCE’s competence.
A series of international rows rocked the Belarusian leadership. At first, president Lukashenko couldn’t get through to the NATO’s summit in Prague, after which the EU and USA imposed travel ban on him. Now the Belarusian ambassador in Japan changed his mind not to return home.
According to the Ministry of statistics and analysis of Belarus, over the first two weeks of November the consumer prices rose by 2,3%. During the first week of the month they augmented by 0,7% and the second – by 1,6%. Higher price-growth was recorded only in February this year – by 2,5%, whereas starting from May the monthly growth of prices stayed within 1,1-2,2% limits. The main reason for the current inflation leap, is cited by the Ministry of statistics as the significant rise in tariffs on gas and electricity. As you remember, in total they forecasted a 20-27% price-increase for the year 2002. However, since the turn of the year the prices already went 29,4% up (over the analogous period of 2001 – by 34,9%).
Another scandal rocks the Belarusian eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. Father Ioann Grudnitsky, who joined the Belarusian Autocephalous Church, registered in the USA, claims that he won’t give up his ministry and the temple, where he served for so long.