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BULLETINS INFOFOCUS № 6

E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 6, 2005 (only Russian)

Content:

Introduction

Theme of the month:
Belarus-Georgia Visa Conflict: Demonstration of Strength or Weakness?

Person of the month:
А. Radkov, Faithful Mouthpiece of Presidential Course?

Document of the month:
Presidential Decree “On Additional Measures Establishing Use of Words ‘National’ and ‘Belarusians'”: Continuing Policy of Power Usurpation or Establishing of Order?

Organization of the month:
Narodnaya Volya: Penalty on Economic Entity or Persecution of Non-State Press?

Introduction:

Dear readers!

 

We offer to your attention the next issue of Infofocus bulletin. The “Topic of the Month” in June is the visa conflict in Belarus-Georgia relations. Repeated criticism of Georgia’s President M. Saakashvili on democratization in Belarus couldn’t leave the official Minsk indifferent. On June 9, president’s press service stated that the head of state took the decision to introduce visa regime for Georgia. Its necessity was explained by struggle against organized crime as well as coordination of the foreign policy with Russia which introduced visa regime for Georgia yet four years ago. In response, Georgian deputies proposed to keep visa-free entrance for the Belarusian citizens and make up a list of governing Belarusian officials to ban entrance into the country. The next day, July 10, Minister of Foreign Affairs S. Martynov stated that president’s proposal was interpreted incorrectly and Minsk will not introduce visa regime for Georgia provided it doesn’t “undertake destructive activity on export of revolution.” What is the true cause of the visa conflict? Why did the Belarusian authorities backed away? How will the conflict influence the bilateral relations? We asked these questions to a political scientist A. Fedorov and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and CIS A. Krasutsky.
This time the “Person of Month” is Minister of Education A. Radkov who signed an order “On measures preventing involvement of students into unlawful political activity.” In this document, sealed “Restricted use”, the minister explains how to carry ideological work among students as well as recommends “to carry out official investigations and take corrective measures including dismissal from universities” for participation of students in unauthorized actions of the opposition. To stop the growth of protest moods among students, A. Radkov ordered to take back the trappings of the recent Soviet times: questions and answers parties, quiz shows and informational stands promoting country’s socio-economic achievements. Is this order a minister’s personal initiative or he stood out a simple executor of an instruction received from “above”? How will this document influence the carrier of A. Radkov and political activity of students? What are the moods in the top nomenclature echelons if analyzed through the prism of this order? We offer you opinions of Deputy to the House of Representatives O. Abramova and political scientist S. Naumova.
In the column “Document of Month”, we talk about the presidential decree “On additional measures establishing use of words ‘national’ and ‘Belarusian’.” These are only governmental bodies and several more organizations which can still use these adjectives. All the rest, including several leading newspapers, will have to change their names and re-register the editions. Why does the president need such an order? How can it be interpreted from the viewpoint of country’s further development? How will it influence the future of those organizations which will have to undergo the procedure of re-registration? Here we offer the comments of the publicist S.Dubovets. Unfortunately, as it has already happened, we were not able to present the viewpoint of the governing bodies because of their unwillingness to talk on this issue. We had to go with a commentary on the presidential decree published in Sovetskaya Belorussiya (Soviet Belarus).
The column “Organization of Month” is given to the newspaper Narodnaya Volya (Popular Will) which failed in already two lawsuits. First, the court bound the newspaper board to pay out compensation (in total, 20 mln rubles) to the citizens of Kletsk and Soligorsk whose signatures were put under the address of an initiative group on the formation of the People’s Will movement and who, as it later turned out, had nothing to do with this case. Shortly after, lawyer L. Valevich ordered to levy 100 mln rubles from Narodnaya Volya for benefit of Deputy S. Gaidukevich, House of Representatives, as the reimbursement of moral damage. The lawyer decided that the newspaper publication on that S. Gaidukevich allegedly owes a large amount of money to Iraqi oil ministry under S. Hussein is not true. How grounded were the claims of the plaintiffs to the only daily non-state newspaper and what is the true reason of this? What is more in the court: justice or politics? How will such a substantial fine influence further work of the edition? We offer you the opinions of editor-in-chief of the closed newspaper Rabochaya Solidarnost, journalist N. Galko and analyst P. Akulov.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. All comments and requests are as usual welcome!

IISEPS executive board

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