Wife of the missing journalist Svetlana Zavadskaya doesn’t rule out that this is but an imitation of the search for her husband, whom they had been looking for during more than two years, but always to no avail. According to her, now the investigators begin to at least produce an illusion of actions only because they bombarded the procuracy with complaints over the detective’s inertia. “I got an impression that had it not been for our petition to Sheiman, they would not investigate this case for a few more years”, said she in an interview to Radio Svaboda.
Last Friday the head of state made a range of personnel reshuffles. He appointed heads of the diplomatic representations, companies, organizations, as well as gave his consent to the appointment of certain deputies Ministers. No real sensations had been expected to happen, but they happened. Lukashenko replaced by his order the former director general of the BELTA news agency Igor Alekseichik by the employee of the presidential security service Oleg Proleskovsky.
Implementation of the union state’s referendum on constitutional changes in Russia and Belarus in 2003 is theoretically possible but practically unrealistic, “Mediafact” quotes CEC chair of Russia Alexander Veshnyakov as saying.
On December 6 Alexander Lukashenko appointed Oleg Proleskovsky director general of the Belarusian telegraph agency BELTA, dismissing from the post Yakov Alekseichik. Professional journalist Alekseichik was placed at the head of BELTA as far back as in 1998. The newly appointed leader has been heading before his promotion one of Alexander Lukashenko’s security service departments. BelaPAN reports that the company is operating as a state one.
Alexander Lukashenko’s press-secretary Natalya Petkevich refrains from evaluating the statement, voiced on December 5 by the leader of the US congressmen’s delegation, which paid a visit to Minsk these days, Mr. Kurt Weldon.
UN High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) published last Friday the new statistics on asylum seekers in the western countries. According to these data, over the first nine months of the year the number of fugitives from CIS amounted to 42,000. The countries, which are left by their people most are Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
At the moment there grew more active the forces, which resist further integration of Russia and Belarus, declared the Russian Duma speaker, chairman of the Russian-Belarusian parliamentary assembly Gennady Seleznev at the December 8 opening in Saint-Petersburg of the international conference “Poignant problems of the construction and development of the “union” state”.
On Friday Alexander Lukashenko considered a range of personnel issues. As a result, the press-secretary of Foreign Ministry Pavel Latushko was appointed plenipotentiary Belarusian ambassador in Poland. All know how long the man has been dreaming of this position. He faithfully served the interests of the Ministry and president, was very careful in his words and declined to give commentaries to the wrong journalists, such as the Charter’97 press-center, claiming that we, as members of the unregistered organization, have nothing to do at his press-conferences. Finally, he got promoted.
Commenting in Saint-Petersburg on the possible Alexander Lukashenko’s election for the third consecutive term, chairman of the Russian Central Electoral Commission Alexander Veshnyakov said that there’s no common international standard on the issue. “However, my personal opinion in this regard is this: wise norm exists in the states where the head of state can only rule for not more than two terms,” – said he: “That’s the principle of democracy, renewal and change of power, which is especially vital for a young democracy”.
Delegation of the Belarusian politicians, led by the chairman of the United Civil Party Anatoly Lebedko, engaged on December 6 in the international conference “After Prague: perspectives of cooperation in the Eastern and Northern Europe”, which is currently taking place on Riga. The conference attracted Latvian president Vaira Fraiberg, Defense Minister of Lithuania Linkyavichus, Defense Minister of Latvia Kristovkis, former Prime Ministers of Sweden and Estonia Karl Bild and Mart Laar accordingly, representatives of Russia, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany and USA. The UCP press-service reports that Mrs.Fraiberg supported in her speech the EU travel ban on Belarus’ officials.
On Monday in Vienna there will commence negotiations on the OSCE mission’s future in Belarus, said on Saturday the Foreign Minister of Belarus Mikhail Khvostov. The OSCE activities in Minsk became paralyzed after the authorities denied prolongation of visas to its personnel. OSCE was charged with assisting Belarusian opposition. The stumbling block in the relations with OSCE, EU, USA and some international organizations became Minsk’s violation of human rights and, in particular, electoral legislation.
Meeting with the US congressmen was used by Alexander Lukashenko’s administration not as a tool to drive Belarus out of a self-imposed isolation but rather as a cheap PR action, said in an interview to Radio Svaboda the participant of the opposition delegation, which met the US congressmen Anatoly Lebedko.
“How can you evaluate your family’s financial condition?” – Belarusian citizens were asked by the employees of the Center of sociological and political research of the Belarusian State University during the national research in October this year. They surveyed one thousand citizens, aged 18 and over. Most of them – 55% - responded that they have enough to buy all the necessary foodstuffs, clothes and have no debts before others, though they cannot normally save money for the future.