Today sons of the arrested Belarusian politician Mikhail Marynich had a meeting with the deputies of the Latvian Saeima (Parliament). Arrest of one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition was discussed at the meetings with the deputies of the largest faction in the Latvian parliament, “New Time”, with the chairman of the Commission on External Relations Alexandr Kirstein, deputy of the European Parliament, former Latvian Defense minister Girts-Valdis Kristovskis. 22 deputies of the faction “New Time” signed a letter in support of Mikhail Marynich.
The ways of intensification of bilateral relations in different spheres, prospects for increasing the trade turnover and measures for eliminating obstacles to the growth of trade, were discussed by Lukashenka with the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev. The working meeting of the two leaders of states took place last week in the framework of the working trip of Alyaksandr Lukashenka to Kazakhstan. The BELTA was informed about it in the press service of the Belarusian head of state. Before that neither Belarusian nor Kazhakh side disseminated the information about the meeting of Lukashenka and Nazarbaev.
According to the official data, on Sunday 77.88% of voters took part in the parliamentary elections of Turkmenistan, which is unusual for the authoritarian country where the turnout usually amounts to almost 100 per cent. As we have informed, in Belarus, according to the Central Election Committee information, 6 297 600 of voters cast their vote out of 6 986163 citizens eligible to vote, or 90.14% of voters.
During the Monday meeting with Latvia`s ambassadors and Foreign Ministry officials, President Vaira Vike-Freiberga intends to discuss the letter she has received from Belarusian opposition leader Mikhail Marinich`s sons, requesting support for their father as he goes on trial.
In the article “Lukashenka Went Skiing to Kazakhstan” (December 16) a misprint happened in the sentence: “As we have informed, within the last two years A.Lukashenka, who can enter the EU countries only as a private person, but not as a head of state, went skiing to the resorts of Austria and Slovakia.” In reality, according to the reports of mass media, Alyaksandr Lukashenka went to Slovenia. We present our apologies.
The mandate of the OSCE Office in Minsk will be extended by one year to January 1, 2006 if none of the OSCE 55 participating States files an objection or a proposal before the noon of December 28, the deputy head of the OSCE Office in Minsk, Vagram Abadzhan, told BelaPAN.
State Secretary of the Belarus- Russia "union" Pavel Borodin believes that steps should be taken in 2005 to form a common state. "We clearly understand that the process of shaping the unified state will remain at a standstill without holding a referendum, adopting a constitutional act, [electing] a common parliament and common executive and audit bodies," he said at a Friday meeting with Belarussian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky.
The "house of representatives" of the Belarusian "national assembly" on December 20 gave the first reading to a code governing the country`s judicial system and the status of judges. The bill is aimed at systematizing and improving the regulations currently in force in the sphere, Valentin Sukalo, chairman of the Supreme Court of Belarus, told the lower chamber.
On December 20-22 a meeting of the Belarusian-Libyan joint commission on economic, trade, scientific and technical cooperation is to gather, told Foreign Ministry press secretary Andrei Savinykh told at a briefing. The Libyan delegation will be headed by the Secretary Assistant (vice-Prime Minister) of the People`s Committee (government) of the Great Socialist People`s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Al Bagdagi Ali Al Makhmudi. Meetings of the Libyan Vice Prime Minister with the government and parliament leaders of Belarus are planned.
The EU is set to make it known and to demonstrate the people of Belarus the benefits received by many countries who participate in the Program New Neighborhood, developed by the European Commission. It was stated in the final document on the results of the European Council session on December 16-17 in Brussels. The European Council is a plenipotentiary forum of the heads of states and governments of the 25 countries – members of the EU. Brussels has already included in the program of the New Neighborhood Ukraine, Moldova, Israel, Palestinian autonomy, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. In the document summarizing the results of the summit it is underlined that the EU is ready to contribute to growth of the civil society and democratization processes in Belarus.
Some 150 opposition candidates in October’s parliamentary elections from across Belarus arrived at the Minsk-based International Education Center (IBB) on Sunday for a long-planned conference but were turned away as the IBB administration cancelled the arrangement at the last minute.
The wife of Belarusian journalist Aleksandr Silich has confirmed the reports that her husband applied for political asylum in Belgium, noting that his life was in danger in Belarus. The Khartiya-97 web site reported earlier this week that the deputy editor-in-chief of the Narodnaya Volya newspaper had arrived in the European country to seek political asylum.
The organs of the state power of Belarus continued pressurization of the civil society. The pressurization of opposition parties by threats to liquidate their regional structures is especially noticeable.
Aleksandr Lukashenko is expected to stay in Kazakhstan until December 19, Kazakhstan Today reported. According to another news agency, Kazinform, on Friday night, the Belarusian leader and Almaty Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov were to attend an “international hockey game between the team of the Belarusian president and a team of Almaty hockey veterans” in the local sports arena.
Viktor Yushchenko believes that the Ukrainian scenario of “orange revolution” could repeat at the territory of the former USSR, the “Ukrainskaya Pravda” informs. On Sunday the leader of the Ukrainian opposition, answering to the question of the Belarusian journalist, if the Ukrainian scenario is possible for Belarus, told: “This scenario is possible for every country where there is a shortage of democracy. When people are rising from their knees, it is wonderful”.
Belarussian Parliament has ratified a memorandum of understanding between Belarus and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), aimed at attracting foreign financial assistance in scrapping anti-personnel mines in Belarus.
There has been "extremely active work" by the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) on draft regulations that would bring enterprises and organizations of all forms of ownership to have trade union cells, FTUB Chairman Leonid Kozik said at a news conference held in Minsk on Friday.