E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 5, 2006 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Russia-Belarus relations: Threats of Gazprom – Bluffing or Reality?

Person of the month:
Alexander Filatov: ‘Belarusian Flash Mobs’ – Entertainment or Politics?

Document of the month:
Statement of President A. Lukashenko: Lack of Dialogue between Power and Opposition – Uncontrolled Regularity or Communication Failure?

Organization of the month:
United Opposition: Is Consolidation around a Single Strategy Possible?

From IISEPS Desktop:
Round Table Discussion in Vitebsk
O. Manaev Is Once Again Summoned to Prosecutor’s Office


Dear readers!


We offer to your attention the next issue of our informational bulletin Infofocus. Russia-Belarus relations have been beyond comparison the “Topic of Month” in May. Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom has been steadily forcing through the political decisions of the Kremlin. The major events have been just breaking up. Big guns in the persons of presidents stay aside without comment, so experts have to give comment on the rumors actively leaked through the Russian newspaper Commersant. How true is the rise in gas prices? What are the real goals of the Kremlin? We asked these questions to our experts – A. Pavlovich, Deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, and T. Manenok, reporter for Belorusy and Rynok.
Alexander Filatov, post-graduate of the European Humanities University, has unexpectedly made his debut right after the heavyweight of April (Prime Minister S. Sidorsky) in the column “Person of Month.” Young age, 24 years old, is not an obstacle but a great advantage for those who live in the virtual world of the Internet. These are advanced young people who presently more and more often stand out newsmakers and carry out original short-term actions called strangely ‘flash mobs’. Why has this purely entertaining Western phenomenon become politicized as soon as it appeared in the Belarusian reality? Why did law enforcement agencies behave in such an inappropriate manner? To what transformations can this bring up? Our experts – V. Yanchevsky, editor of the Planeta magazine, and A. Mikhalevich, Coordinator for the Assembly of Local Councils Deputies – gave mirror-like opinions on these issues.
This time the column “Organization of Month” has once again been given to the united opposition. The presidential election is over, but the life, political life included, is going on. It doesn’t give time to have a rest. There’s no way to avoid the question “What to do?” These are presently not only party activists who ask this question but as well common voters who voted for A. Milinkevich at the recent election. Unexpected appearance of numerous self-organized groups which played an important role at the Belarusian Maidan also poses this question before party leaders. Without a well-defined strategy taking into account the latest changes in the society, the united opposition may appear out of play. They do understand this in party headquarters. The first speedy variant of the strategy has been already adopted. The board of the United Civil Party refused to sign it on the grounds of its superficiality. Our experts – V. Chikin, editor of the newspaper 7 Dnei, and journalist R. Yakovlevsky – assess the results of the presidential election and the key ideas of the strategy as well as topicality of the slogan “For Freedom!” under the current conditions.
Statement of President A. Lukashenko appeared outran all other candidates in the column “Document of Month.” On the one hand, the statement in many parts repeated the report delivered at the Third All-Belarusian Assembly, yet on the other hand, it certainly attracted attention taking into account its proximity to the recent crucial election and growth of tenseness in Russia-Belarus relations. Political scientist I. Bugrova and Deputy of the House of Representatives O. Abramova speak out about the role of new centers of force in the world’s politics and their influence on Belarus, about China’s economic expansion, Russia-Belarus relations, and the cause of communication failure between the power and the opposition.
In conclusion, on the “IISEPS Desktop” we have published the round table discussion “Attitude of the European Union and Russia to Belarus” conducted on May 26-27, 2006 in Vitebsk at the assistance of O. Manaev’s group within the framework of the project “Strengthening Pro-European Attitudes in Belarus” as well as Radio Liberty’s statement about O. Manaev’s summoning to Prosecutor’s Office.
We hope that you will find these materials helpful and interesting. We look forward to your feedback!

IISEPS executive board

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