«

»

BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 4

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 4, 2008 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction
1. Basic trends of April
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Politics

3.1. Construction of the Belarusian Hollywood
3.2. Control of the “dustbin”
4. Economics
4.1. A little bit of statistics
4.2. A fundamental “small step”
4.3. Striking with the state control at the import replacement
5. Finances
5.1. “The green” is growing weaker
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for May

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

Our April forecast we began with an attempt to predict the development of the Belarusian-American crisis. To put it more precisely, we began it with refusal to assume the role of a foreteller as from our point of view the crisis had entered an uncontrollable stage (the matter, of course, concerned the unpredictable behavior of the Belarusian part).
April confirmed our assumptions. On April, 4 the day before his official visit to Vietnam A. Lukashenko gave an interview to the Vietnamese mass media. “We do not want to quarrel either with the East or with the West. I think that our relations with the Americans will become normal. Relations with the European Union might also be normalized” – stressed the head of state.
After such an encouraging statement the subject of Belarusian-American relations retreated into the informational shadow. There was an impression that the conflict would gradually “disperse”, and that only some time was needed for that to happen. However, on April, 23 the Belarusian Ministry for Foreign Affairs came out with a new initiative. It was suggested that before April, 30 the embassy of the USA should render to the Belarusian part a list of five American diplomats who would stay to work in Belarus.
On April, 29 A. Lukashenko addressed the National Assembly with his annual message. Harsh attacks, directed against American diplomats, did not follow. On the contrary, an encouraging statement was made: “We cannot develop calmly and stably without establishing relations with the Americans. It is really so. It is not a game”. However, on April, 30 a memorandum of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and a list of American diplomats declared personas non grata were handed over to J. Moore, the temporary charge d’affaires of the USA in Belarus.
Everything that has happened can be best conveyed by the words of the new head of the Central ideological office of the Presidential administration V. Yanchevsky: “Any decision of the head of state is very difficult to forecast, and I think it is right”.
Thus the diplomatic crisis turned into the stage of a diplomatic scandal. The mentioned transformation is also connected with the name of A. Kozulin. As we supposed, discharge of the main Belarusian political prisoner would mean “complete surrender of the Belarusian part”, that is why no changes occurred there in April.
Unfortunately, our forecast concerning strengthening of pressure upon the civil society structures has come true. A list of Belarusian political prisoners that had been reduced for a while was supplemented with some new names (A. Kim, a youth activist and S. Parsukevich, a businessman). One more time the Ministry of Justice found a cause to refuse registration of A. Milinkevich’s movement “For freedom”, and the governing body of the United Civil Party did not manage to find premises for conducting a regularly scheduled conference. And these are only the most evident facts.
The process of economic legislation liberalization went on parallel to the strengthening of repressions. As we supposed, the moratorium for the bellweather securities movement purchased by the minority shareholders in the process of preferential sale of shares was cancelled. However, the authorities decided to “prolong the pleasure” having divided the process of cancellation into three stages, the last one of which will be completed only on January, 1 2011.
We are forced to postpone till May our forecast regarding the possible attendance of the conference of the non-government organization “Belaya Rus” by the head of state in view of fixing the date of the conference on May, 17. We presumed that no intrigue would occur at the conference; however A. Lukashenko had already created it by his numerous unplanned statements in the course of the message.

IISEPS executive board

Download full version (in Russian only)