E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 10, 2007 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)


1. Basic trends of October
2. Chronicle of key events
3. Economics

3.1. Achievements vs. problems
3.2. Ill gotten wealth never thrives
3.3. Return of shortage
3.4. ESC (Energy Service Companies) – the mysterious word
4. Finances
4.1. Well-being on credit
5. Politics
5.1. Love for money
5.2. “The European March”
5.3. It went wrong
6. Good news
7. Our forecast for November


Dear readers!


By the existing tradition let us quote an excerpt of our October forecast regarding “The European March”: “The most important intrigue of the forthcoming march is not in the number of its participants. Their quantity is hardly going to exceed 5 thousand people. The intrigue is hidden in the reaction of the authorities, and that is not easy to predict. Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs V. Voronetskiy’s September initiatives in Brussels and A. Lukashenko’s meeting with Georgian minister of Home Affairs V. Merabishvili, which many analysts regarded as an attempt to establish relations with the USA through the mediation of the Georgian President, seemed to give a chance to the organizers of “The European March”. However, “September infinite lawlessness” makes us give up optimistic expectations. The authorities are most likely going to choose an intermediate scenario. They are going to propose to the supporters of the European choice to march in Bangalor square. It stands to reason that organizers of the march will reject such a variant. As a result, the scenario of the Day of Liberty is going to be repeated. Militia will blockade approaches to the place of gathering of the March participants, behaving at that in the most proper way”.
As you can see, some things we have managed to predict (the number of participants), others we haven’t. A surge of opposition activists’ arrests under a standard for such cases pretence of “the use of foul language in public places” preceded “The European March”. Evgeniy Afnagel, one of the declarants of the coming action, found himself among the arrested ones, too. However, the subsequent course of events did not fit in a coercive scenario. The main group of the March participants managed to gather in Oktyabrskaya square from where they walked in a column with unfurled flags encountering no resistance on the part of policemen as far as the building of the Academy of Science Presidium.
Does this fact mean sanity of the Belarusian regime, and if so, whose merit is it? Is it the merit of the opposition new strategy directed to the dialogue with the authorities? Is it the merit of the adjusted pressure of western structures, or of still not overcome consequences of the oil and gas crisis? Answers could vary, but each of them to all appearances contains a grain of truth. At the same time it is necessary to remember, that the first swallow does not make a summer, especially if it has flown in the course of the autumn march of the opposition.
As a whole, in October events developed in the usual for the year of 2007 way. Attempts to revise gas agreements with Russia did not cease. In the issue of “Infofocus” we are calling your attention to we do not touch upon this topic as we believe the main struggle regarding the forthcoming rise in gas prices will develop in November and December, and we will still have a chance to discuss it in detail.

IISEPS executive board

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