“Unexpected and sharp thrust was made by Alexander Lukashenko after recently attained compromise with Moscow on Russian oil deliveries, the “Vremya Novostey” Russian newspaper reports. When voting the local elections he assailed Russia for its behavior in the oil clash with his country and promised to turn to the West. “They are forcing us to join the Russian Federation but being the first President of Belarus I am not going to burry our country’s sovereignty and independence”, he declared.
"Russia is to continue direct or indirect aid to Belarusian economy for a long time," Vladimir Putin said on Monday at a meeting with key ministers. However, he has admitted that "this year the aid is considerably diminished".
The court of Leninski district of Hrodna has sentenced an activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus, a musician Stanislau Poczobut, to 7 days of arrest, and a young activist, a stipend-holder of Kalinouski program, Yauhen Skrabutan, to 3 days of arrest. The Charter’97 press-center has been infromed about that by the UPB activist Andzej Poczobut. The both oppositionists were detained on January 13, before the local election.
The trial over the young activist Anastasiya Aleksandrovich has been postponed till February 1. The Charter`97 press-center has been informed about that by a human rights activist Iryna Toustsik. At today`s trial in the court of Frunzenski district of Minsk policemen who were not taking part in detention arrived as witnesses for the prosecution. For that reason the trial was rescheduled.
On January 15 the judge of Partyzanski district of Minsk Mikalay Trubnikau ruled to arrest an activist of the United Civil Party Andrei Dzmitryeu for 3 days of arrest. He has been charged with violation of the Article 156 (petty hooliganism). Andrei Dzmitryeu was charged with using foul language and bugging passers-by.
The Charter`97 press-center has been informed about details of detention of the Moladz BNF leader Ales Kalita. According earlier reports, Ales Kalita was detained in the police department of Frunzenski district when he tried to find out anything about the BPF Youth activist Anastasiya Aleksandrovich detained previously. At today`s court human rights activists have learnt that Ales Kalita was detained by riot policemen near the college of lawyers of Savetski district of Minsk. He was about to settle a contract with a lawyer for legal assistance to Anastasiya Aleksandrovich.
On January 12 a lawyer Dzmitry Harachka had a meeting with a political prisoner, Alyaksandr Kazulin, in a colony No.3. As informed by the press-service of Alyaksandr Kazulin, issues of submitting a complaint to the Supreme Court and issued connected with the prisoner`s stay in the colony were discussed at the meeting with Kazulin.
The consequences of the sugar problem have already affected common Belarusians, for example the "Beriozovskoye" Sugary Refinery employees who on the New Year Eve got a part of their salary in kind, i.e, in a 5 kilo sack of sugar which was valued for 78 thousand Belarusian rubles. How serious will consequences of this problem appear for sugar refineries and their workers? Has the production process been stopped? Do people get their wages? Will they be paid in sugar? What is going to happen if the situation does not improve? Yuri Gorbatko, the chief engineer of the largest Belarusian Slutsk Sugar Refinery answered the questions of the "KP in Belarus" newspaper.
"Moladz BNF" (BPF Youth) (a youth branch of the Belarusian popular Front) has been sentenced to 7 days of arrest by the court of Savetski district of Minsk. The young leader was detained in Minsk on January 12, the day before the polling day in the local councils` election. The human rights center Viasna told to the Charter`97 press-center that several blows were delivered to him during the detention.
We cannot work today according to our usual schedule because of hurricane force wind. Power cuts in our office are taking place frequently, and there are problems in the work of Belarusian internet-providers. We present our apologies. The web site is to be updated when possible.
On January 14, answering the questions of journalists at a polling station No. 1 in Minsk in Physical Culture University, Alyaksandr Lukashenka offered to match local elections with parliamentary elections. “We should think over these questions, so that less money was spent on elections. We have three stages of elections: we elect local Soviets, the parliament and the president. We could choose deputies of all levels at one date, and the president at the other. In this way we would save a pretty sum of money. And the population would be less distracted by those issues,” Lukashenka said.
On January 14 in Minsk a picket was held. Activists warned against participation in local Soviets. Several public activists have gathered near the building of Minsk regional executive committee with a steamer “You have been deceived”. They stood about 10 minutes. After that they were detained by riot policemen. One of the participants of the protest, an underage schoolgirl Nastya Shashkova was detained, beaten up and taken to Minsk city hospital No.1.