| POLITICS |
Yaraslau Ramanchuk: “Anything Can be Expected in Belarusian-Russian Relations”
The Squeeze on Belarus
A well-known Belarusian economist, director of the Belarusian Mises Research Center, Yaraslau Ramanchuk, in his interview to Radio Svaboda comments on a possible situation after imposing taxes for Russian oil transit.
16:15, 04/01/2007, «The Washington Post»
Alyaksandr Milinkevich: Lukashenka’s Foreign Policy of Belarus is Total Failure
EUROPE narrowly averted another energy supply crisis this week when Russia and Belarus struck a last-minute deal, preventing a threatened Russian cutoff of natural gas supplies. Since Russian gas flows through Belarus to Poland and Western Europe, a disruption could have affected consumers far beyond Belarus, as happened a year ago when Russia turned off the tap to Ukraine. The source of the dispute was the same in both cases: Russia`s demand that its neighbors pay vastly increased prices for gas and turn over controlling stakes in pipelines that carry gas to the rest of Europe. Belarus, like Ukraine, claimed that Moscow`s commercial hardball was politically motivated, while the Kremlin argued that it was merely ending subsidies that were a legacy of the Soviet Union.
Candidate for Deputy Dismissed
The leader of he democratic forces of Belarus Alyaksandr Milinkevich believes that statements by Alyaksandr Lukashenka and introduction of export duty for Russian oil are evidence of a total failure of Belarusian foreign policy. “The economic conflict of Russia and Belarus is a demonstration of a total failure of Belarus’ foreign policy based on lies,” Alyaksandr Milinkevich told to Echo Moskvy radio.
Iryna Kazulina to Demand Urgent Hospitalization of Her Husband
An activist of the Young Front Aleh Korban has been fired. The young activist worked as a polisher at Minsk gears plant. He believes that dismissal is a witch-hunt for his oppositional activities. The activist is registered as a candidate for deputy of Minsk city council in constituency No.23.
Prosecutor’s Office Refused to Open Criminal Case For Rigging Elections Results
The condition of the former candidate for presidency in Belarus, a political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin, is not improving. “On January 3 I was informed by representatives of the colony that swelling of arms and legs had increased. I think that he needs urgent hospitalization, and I will ask the administration of Minsk prison hospital about that. I hope that I would succeed to persuade husband to go to hospital,” Iryna Kazulina said to Radio Svaboda.
Vyachaslau Siuchyk’s Brother Accused
On the next day after Alyaksandr Lukashenka confessed election results had been rigged, the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka addressed the prosecutor’s office of Belarus with an appeal to initiate a criminal case based on the statement of the Belarusian leader. IN the answer received by the leader of the party recently, it is said that “Prosecutor’s office of Belarus does not have information about concrete facts related to rigging of the presidential elections results on March 19, 2006”.
Belarus imposes duty on Russian oil exports
Kanstantsin Lukashou, a brother of the public activist Vyachaslau Siuchyk, who had been placed to a remand prison, has been charged with resistance to police workers. V. Siuchyk informed about that to BelaPAN news agency. As said by him, the charge had been served on him on the 15th day of Lukashou’s stay in the remand prison.
Belarus president rails at Moscow`s «unfriendly steps»
Belarus imposed big new charges on Russian oil crossing its territory on Wednesday. Up to now Belarus has charged a shipping fee on Russian oil pumped across its territory but no transit duty. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko imposed transit duty of $US45 per tonne on Russian oil in retaliation for Moscow cutting subsidies on energy supplies to Belarus.
10:26, 04/01/2007, By Arkady Ostrovsky, «The Financial Times»
EU to Discuss Russian-Belarusian Gas Agreement
Russia`s relationship with Belarus showed further signs of strain yesterday after Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus`s authoritarian president, accused Moscow of "unfriendly steps" and threatened to charge fees for transit of Russian oil across his country.
Lukashenko lashes out at Russia over energy prices
A session of the coordination group of the European Council on gas including government experts, representatives of companies-manufacturers and consumers of energy of the EU member countries of this regional organization is planned in Brussels on Thursday. The meeting has been convened by the European Commissioner on Energy A. Pibalgs. Its main topic would be the situation with Russian gas deliveries to the EU after striking a bilateral agreement on gas deliveries and transit between Russia and Belarus.
10:05, 04/01/2007, The Associated Press
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko lashed out angrily at the Russian leadership over energy price increases, calling its conduct "shameless," and his government said it was slapping a customs duty on Russian oil pumped across its territory to Europe. The oil transit fee and the fiery remarks were the latest salvos in a politically charged struggle over Russia`s moves to end years of preferential treatment that have helped the authoritarian Lukashenko keep his country`s Soviet-style economy running and maintain his grip on power.