E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 11, 2006 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Russia-Belarus Presidential Meeting: Again Failed to Come to Agreement?..

Person of the month:
Alexander Kozulin: Determination or Despair?

Document of the month:
New Europe’s Strategy for Belarus: Hope or Disappointment?

Organization of the month:
Scandal in the National Center of Informational Resources and Technologies: Regularity or Oversight.

From IISEPS Desktop


Dear readers!


We should like to remind that Infofocus bulletin is the mass medium (periodical) registered in Lithuania: the appropriate ISBN’s (different for printed and electronic version of the Russian and English issues) are given on the first page. On the one hand, this means that activity of the Institute is moving more and more outside Belarus due to constant pressure from the Belarusian authorities. On the other hand, legal status of a Lithuanian periodical edition will let the Belarusian mass media and all the citizens distribute our data and analytics without a fear of being jeopardized by the repressive legislation of their own country.
Our “Topic of Month” in November is the meting of Russia’s and Belarus’ presidents. Our choice is not random. One month to the end of the year, there is no agreement on the price for gas yet. Gazprom notified about rise in prices in early spring. It seems, the Belarusian side had time to find a compromise, but even a major Belarusian negotiator A. Lukashenko turns powerless under rigid enforcement from Russia’s corporate state. This is when not simply record rates of economic growth but the future of the Belarusian regime is jeopardized. This is no wonder: GDP in Belarus makes about $30 billion while the amount of oil and gas subsidies from State is $5-6 billion. Our experts – Anatoly Pavlovich, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Industry (House of Representatives of the National Assembly), and Elena Rakova, economist for the IPM Research Center – will speak about the role of presidents in Russia-Belarus relations, possibilities for the formation of a joint venture on the basis of Beltransgaz and reasonableness of Russia’s demand to re-allocate duties on export of oil products.
Ex-presidential candidate Alexander Kolulin is the “Person of Month” the second time in this year. The reason is the unprecedented in time political hunger strike which lasted for already 45 days by the day of bulletin publication. Under the authoritarian rule, hunger strikes in Belarus seem to become a major form of protest and human rights protection for the Belarusian citizens. It stands to reason that we told about mass hunger strike of parishioners from New Life church in our previous issue. What is the reason for such an extreme measure in the conditions of social stability? How efficient hunger strikes can be? Why did the public opinion in Belarus split in their assessments of Kozulin’s case? We asked these questions to our experts Victor Chikin, Editor for the newspaper 7 Days, and Marina Koktysh, Deputy Editor-in-Chief for Narodnaya Volya newspaper.
This time our column “Organization of Month” is given to the National Center of Informational Resources and Technologies unknown to the general audience yet before November. What did it become famous for? For the ‘effectiveness’ uncommon even by Belarusian standards. See the following example. It was planned to complete 97 projects within the framework of Electronic Belarus project by the end of 2005. However, only six were completed. How could such discrepancy happen at all and how does this particular case of ‘efficiency’ fall into the Belarusian economic model? We offer you the opinion of Alexander Voitovich, ex-president of the Academy of Sciences, on this issue.
We had an absolute consensus about the “Document of Month” for this issue. Europe has made a step towards Belarus and has come out with a new cooperation strategy which was presented by the European Commission on November 21. This way the ball is now in Belarusian court. What will be the response? Will it transmit the tension in Russia-Belarus relations? We asked these questions to Vadim Popov, Chair of the Parliamentary Commission for International Affairs and CIS, and Anatoly Lebedko, Chairman of the United Civil Party.

IISEPS executive board

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