In January 2007 Yuri Levada Analytical Center held an opinion poll among the Russians on the topic of their attitude t Belarus and its president. About one third of respondents called Lukashenka a” tricky and cunning politician”. Almost the same number is sure that he is a “respected leader of the Belarusian nation”. 10% of people view the Belarsuian dictator as “the last dictator of Europe”, and 5% as “the only real friend of Russia”, Interfax informs.
“Lukashenka has buried himself as the Russia’s ally!” headlines of the neighboring state are crying. What is there under the new image of the president of Belarus? The «Deutsche Welle» asked this question to the Belarusian experts.
The proposition of Zmitser Bandarenka, Charter’97 coordinator, to announce March 25 a state holiday –the Day of freedom and unity- and to mark it with a joint action of the state authorities and opposition for protection of independence of Belarus under the slogan “For Freedom! For Belarus!” has been actively discussed in Belarus.
The Belarusian and Ukrainian foreign ministries on Monday held a round of consultations to discuss a meeting between Aleksandr Lukashenko and his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yushchenko, scheduled for the latter half of February.
Belarus began working with Russian oil companies according to new tariffs yesterday. Instead of forward contracts with fixing prices on the date of oil refining, the parties switched to average spot prices for Poland’s ports minus transport expenditures. Consequently, the prices of supplying oil to Belarus will remain at the last year’s level of $240 per metric ton, but already including the export duty. Experts estimate that these contracts will not seize being profitable for Russian oil companies, even with the introduction of export duties since January 1.
The Charter’97 press-center has been informed about that by the wife of the former candidate for presidency, Iryna Kazulina, who had received a right for a long-term meeting with her husband. She spent three days in a hostel of the corrective labour colony Vitsba-3. As said by Iryna Kazulina, after the hunger strike which lasted 53 days, Alyaksandr Kazulin’s legs swelled. For more than a month the political prisoner stayed in bed, with rare walks outside. Only three days before the meeting with his family Kazulin left his bed. However, because of poor blood analysis the regime of recovering from the hunger strike has been prolonged for the former candidate for presidency.
Svyatlagorsk inhabitant Natallia Bordak and a seventeen-year-old young man Arseni Yagorchanka were detained at the militia station on suspicion of hanging out the portraits of a political prisoner Alyaksandr Kazulin. The fact was reported by the belngo.info. According to the young man, he was beaten up by the militiaman Yaugen Kislyakou. Personal search of Natallia Bordak was committed at the militia station without search witnesses.
On Monday a law “On Fight against Corruption” came into force in Belarus. Independent experts note that this law could become another law that wouldn’t have effect in reality.
In the new law the list of “subjects of corrupt practises”, or persons who could violate the law on corruption, has been expanded. Independent experts note that this law could become another law which won’t act in reality, like some norms of the Criminal code and Code of penal procedure which include penalties on corruption as well. Besides, as said by some lawyers, sources of corruption could be found in top echelons of power in Belarus.
Belarusian civil committee on commemoration of Stalin repressions victims’ memory has supported a proposal of Russian human rights activists to hold a ceremony of innocently perished people on every 30th day of every month.
The George W. Bush administration has condemned the ruling of the Belarusian government according to which Belarusian Helsinki Committee is to vacate its premises, which would cause “closure of the most important non-governmental organization on human rights in this country”. This latest blow by the Belarusian authorities on the independent civil society highlights a constant deterioration of the situation in the sphere of human rights in this country, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormak said.