E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 12, 2006 – ISSN 1822-5578 (only Russian)



Theme of the month:
Introduction of export tax on Russian oil: final decision or compromise still available?

Person of the month:
Appointment of S. Gaidukevich for MIA’s special representative: formality or real move?

Document of the month:
Decision of the European Council of Ministers: revenge or appropriate sanctions?

Organization of the month:
NA House of Representatives: agent or subject of politics?


Dear readers!


We should like to remind that Infofocus bulletin is now a periodical mass media registered in Lithuania, ISSN given on its first page. On the one hand, this means that activity of the IISEPS is moving more and more outside Belarus due to constant pressure on the part of 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.
It is not for the first time that we choose the events pertaining to Russia-Belarus relations as our “Topic of Month.” On December 8, 2006 Russia’s Government Head Mikhail Fradkov signed the regulation according to which export of Russian oil to Belarus will be taxable from January 1, 2007 like it is for the countries not members of the Customs Union. With this decision M. Fradkov closed the oil offshore working in Belarus for over ten years already. How predictable was this New Year gift? What will the next year bring? Will this be a reasonable compromise or increasing rigidity on the part of Russia? What is the contribution of the “problem 2008” (forthcoming presidential election in Russia) into the changed policy of Union State’s big brother? We asked these questions to the noted Belarusian economist Leonid Zlotnikov. Unfortunately, we again failed to find an expert who would present the official standpoint on this issue. It seems we have got another tradition: the more topical the issue is, the harder it is to find a comment.
“Person of Month” column is this time given to a politician well-known in Belarus, founder and permanent leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, and Deputy of the Parliament’s House of Representatives. This is Sergei Gaidukevich. The reason appeared quite unexpected. It is for the first time in the contemporary history of Belarus that a party head is delegated to organize a breakthrough in the foreign political field as a Special Representative of the Belarusian Foreign Minister for cooperation with European bodies and parliaments. What is more unexpected, appointment of S. Gaidukevich for this position or the very fact of special representative appointment? What is the place of Belarus in the contemporary Europe? What all-European issues can Belarus join with its voice? What are the prospects for the Western direction of Belarusian foreign policy in 2007? We offer you the opinions of independent politician Andrei Fedorov and Director of the Center of European Documentation [Belarusian State University] Yuri Chebotarev.
Decision of the European Council of Ministers to deprive Belarus of trade preferences is our “Document of Month.” This decision cannot be called unexpected. Yet, why does Belarus still have no changes in the Western direction? Who is responsible for this ‘stability’? What are the chances for changes in the next year? Who should do anything for this and what should they? Here you will find the opinions of our experts Sergei Gaidukevich, Deputy of the Parliamentary House of Representatives, and Alexander Bukhvostov, Chairman of the Organization Committee of the Congress of Democratic Forces.
NA House of Representatives doesn’t need special introduction, but its nomination for the “Organization of Month” is not fortuitous. The House of Representatives celebrated its tenth anniversary in December. Has the Belarusian Parliament become an agent of politics over this long term? This is the question to which many of experts can’t give a clear-cut answer. Perhaps, there are reasons why the Belarusian Parliament faces total misunderstanding at the international arena, and in particular on the part of the countries with rich parliamentary tradition. Its efficacy (just recall adoption of budget for 2007) is by far not outright. Our experts Olga Abramova, Deputy of the House of Representatives, and political scientist Andrei Lyakhovich will share their opinion about this institution.

IISEPS executive board

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