On November 2 Hrodna Leninski District Office of Public Prosecutor pronounced an official warning to Andrzej Pisalnik for "having insulted Belarusian people" in one of his articles. During his interview to BAJ Andrzej Pisalnik mentioned the fact that his article was published in a foreign edition.
Valery Levaneuski, a political prisoner, a leader of the All-Nation Strike Committee of Vendors, member of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” has been discharged from the Republican prison hospital and sent back to Ivatsevichy colony. The Charter’97 press center has been updated about that by the son of the political prisoner Uladzimir Levaneuski.
Preparation to Day of solidarity on November 16 is carried out in all regions of Belarus. New printed materials with information about Day of solidarity appear in Baranavichi daily. Activists of opposition organizations distribute them in the most animated places of the city - in markets, near big shops, and in the central streets. Graffiti and stickers depicting number 16 in circle appear in residential areas in the nights.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka has stated that he builds Belarus according to the model of Germany and Sweden, and if something in his country is developing in a wrong direction, these European countries are to blame, Interfax informs.
The Minsk City Executive Committee has denied the [opposition] Party of Communists of Belarus (PCB) permission to stage a march along Independence Avenue [main Minsk`s thoroughfare] on 7 November, the anniversary of the October Revolution.
The Belarusian Writers` Union (BWU) and several non-governmental organizations are set to distribute three volumes of Vasil Bykov`s 14-volume collection to the country`s libraries despite the authorities` refused to help.
The situation in Belarus is likely to be discussed at the Council of Europe forum on the future of democracy in Europe scheduled to take place in Warsaw on November 3 and 4. The forum participants will discuss the role of civil society, youths in particular, in future of European democracy. "Participants are likely to cite examples of democratic development, and Belarus is likely to be discussed as a bad example," Adrian Severin, UN Human Rights Commission`s rapporteur on Belarus, told BelaPAN.
The EU member-states are close to depriving Belarus of trade preferences if Minsk does not change its treatment of trade unions, British Ambassador to Belarus Brian Bennett told journalists in Mogilyov on Wednesday. The ambassador said the EU has not yet excluded Belarus from the Generalized System of Preferences, but this issue has been considered in Brussels.
An agreement on the establishment of sister-city relations between Minsk and Havana was signed as a result of the visit to Cuba of a Minsk delegation led by Mikhail Pavlov, chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, which was held from October 29 through November 2, according to the press office of the Belarusian foreign ministry.
As the BelaPAN informs, on November 1-4 the chairman of the KGB (State Security Committee) of Belarus Stsyapan Sukharenka went on a visit to China. The declared aim of the visit is talks with the State Security Minister of China in Beijing. The information and public relations’ center of the KGB of Belarus does not comment on the visit and its reasons.
The imminent presidential elections in Belarus in 2006 are to be held in strict adherence to the international standards, the official representative of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Ruslan Yesin stated in Minsk, commenting on the statement of the US Department of the State on the situation with the “Partnerstva” initiative. “The statement of the US Department of the State on the situation with the Partnerstva initiative is groundless,” R.Yesin underlined.
Belarus wishes Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov success in development of economy and recommends focusing on this particular work. The Belarusian Ambassador to the USA Mikhail Khvastou told that to ITAR-TASS in connection with some statements about Belarusian leaders, allowed by the head of Ukrainian government during his visit to the USA.
“Anti-Russian politicians in Belarus do not have prospects, as more than a half of the population is for integration with Russia. I would like to tell Russian citizens how the united opposition sees the future of bilateral relations,” the single candidate of democratic forces of Belarus Alyaksandr Milinkevich told in his interview to “Vremya Novostei” newspaper before his visit to Moscow. In addition, Milinkevich explained that the main objective is to dispel the myth, insistently created by Lukashenka, that if he won’t be a president, nationalists would take power and spoil relations with Russia; that Lukashenka orientates himself to Russia, and opposition to the West.
The United States on November 2 condemned the recent arrest, detention and conviction of Belarusian citizens from the nongovernmental organization (NGO) known as Partnership, which seeks to train Belarusians as election observers and to educate them on their rights under Belarusian law as voters.
A workshop on the role of civil society in Belarus in the run-up to the 2006 presidential election is to be held in Brussels on November 9, said Olga Stuzhinskaya, head of the "For a Democratic Belarus" office, which represents Belarus` opposition forces in Brussels-based international organizations.
The USA condemns recent arrests of the representatives of the civil initiative “Partnerstva”, the statement by a Department of State’s Spokesman Sean McCormack made on November 2 reads. “Crackdown on Partnerstva and other Belarusian non-governmental organizations in the latest of the numerous examples which cast doubt on intention of the Belarusian authorities to hold free, fair and open presidential elections next year,” the Department of State’s Spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The formation of common Belarusian-Russian armed forces is out of the question until there is no relevant legal framework, Belarusian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev said on November 2 while speaking at a workshop for Russian and Belarusian journalists on cooperation between the two countries in the defense sphere.
Military cooperation between Belarus and Russia bases on more than 30 international accords and "is taking place within the political boundaries that exist," he said. "It is politicians who set boundaries."
Belarus` only MIG-29 BM simulator, which cost the defense ministry about $2 million, broke even on its investment after one year of operation at the 61st Fighter Airbase in Baranovichi, Brest region, Airbase Commander Aleksandr Marfitsky told BelaPAN.
The Ministry of Defense on November 1 authorized the Belspetskontrakt state enterprise to sell its unused movable and non-movable property. Aleksandr Lukashenko signed a decree to that effect on July 12. The property in question does not include residential buildings, military products and classified equipment.
Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed concern about a lack of "drastic changes" in crime prevention while receiving Prosecutor General Pyotr Miklashevich on Tuesday. Mr. Miklashevich reported an increase in the crime rate, linking it to "insufficient efforts to ensure citizens` property safety," the Belarusian leader`s press office said. Thefts account for almost half of all recorded crimes. One third of all offenses are committed by people under the influence of alcohol, the prosecutor general was quoted as saying.
The German government has approved a ˆ200,000 humanitarian project aimed at providing free medicines for Nazi victims in Belarus, reported the press office of the German embassy on Monday. The project had been proposed by Belarus` Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation Fund.
The Belarusian and Russian top leadership have yet to set the date for the official unveiling of the Yanka Kupala monument in Moscow, Vadim Lukashuk, an official with the Belarusian culture ministry, told BelaPAN.