E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 2, 2007 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Pro-European Rhetoric: Changing of the Course or Tactic Move?

Person of the month:
Petr Prokopovich: Temporary Difficulties or Crisis of the System?

Document of the month:
Open Letter of A. Milinkevich: Opposition Leader or Virtual Politician?

Organization of the month:
IISEPS: Information Unbiased or Booked?

From IISEPS Desktop


Dear readers!


President A. Lukashenko’s pro-European rhetoric is the “Topic of Month” today. Oil & gas war between Russia and Belarus has already brought to revision of foreign political course carried by the official Minsk. In his interview to Die Welt newspaper in late January the head of state called Belarus “the heart of Europe”. In his February interview to Reuters he made another step forth by admitting “error of a single vector”. Judging by the part of Belarusian export into the EU states, Belarusian economic model is quite comparable with the EU economic model. Does this mean that the rule “politics is extension for economics but it uses other means” is not working anymore? In the opinion of President A. Lukashenko, EU demands to Belarus confine to “breaking our political system”. Is the Belarusian Government ready to its partial transformation? A. Lukashenko admitted the “error of a single vector”. How can it be corrected? We asked these questions to independent expert Andrei Fedorov and to Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and CIS Vadim Popov.
This time our “Person of Month” column is given to Chair of the National Bank P. Prokopovich. The financial system of Belarus was the first to survive the blow of new gas prices and export/import duties for oil. It is not surprising that the National Bank Chair appeared one of the key newsmakers. He had plenty of grounds for public statements which caused our questions. We asked them to Prof. Stanislav Bogdankevich, PhD in Economics, ex-Chair of the National Bank. What was the outcome, from the viewpoint of financial system, of converting Russia and Belarus economic relations to the market grounds? Was the policy of the National Bank appropriate in the current conditions? What problems can the National Bank face in the short-term perspective? Unfortunately, we didn’t find an expert from the public sector willing to answer these topical questions.
In the “Document of Month” column we offer an open letter of A. Milinkevich to A. Lukashenko which received mixed reviews in the opposition. The addresser as well as his official representatives denounced any public comments. In the interview to Die Welt A. Lukashenko noted that “At the current stage Belarus meets all requirements needed to enter the EU. It meets them even better than some of new EU member states”. Why then there is no dialogue between the power and the opposition in Belarus? Can we expect that declared changes in the foreign politics will bring in some progress in home politics? In his letter A. Milinkevich wrote, “The Belarusians have a traditional way of help which is gathering together to talk over the problem. In my opinion, it is now time to talk in the name of Belarus”. Has the time of mass talking really come? We asked these questions to Sergei Gaidukevich, Deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, and Vladimir Rovdo, Associate Professor at the Chair of Political Science and Sociology, the European Humanities University.
Our “Organization of Month” is nowadays the IISEPS that celebrated its 15th anniversary on February 3. The future of this first think tank is inseparable from the future of democracy in Belarus. Our readers well know what happened to the Institute over the past two years. Against all the odds, the IISEPS keeps surveying the public opinion. Do you trust the results of public opinion researches conducted by independent sociological groups in Belarus? Do you use these results in your political activity? What is the role of public opinion for the current authorities in their building of country’s development course? How do the official declarations about construction of the “state for the people” combine with the numerous attempts to deprive the society of independent sources of information? Our experts Olga Abramova, Deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, and academician Alexander Voitovich will answer these questions.
On the “IISEPS Desktop”, we offer to your attention analytics of the nation opinion poll conducted in January.

IISEPS executive board

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