E-bulletin of IISEPS Center for Documentation, N 10, 2002 (only Russian)



Topic of the month:
“Gaz conflict”: “real pressure” or dispute of enterprises?

Person of the month
Aleksandr Lukashenko: November activity as the way to stay on the same place?

Document of the month:
Local elections: starting conditions are equal, reasons to worry remain?

Organization of the month:
Council of Ministers: much work – no results


Dear readers!

In November the political temperature this year is higher than usually in autumn. “Theme of the month” being constantly in the center of public debates is so-called “the gas conflict” between Russia and Belarus which sharpen relations between two countries. “Gazprom” said Belarus has already taken up the annual quota, does not follow the schedule of current payment for gas and breaks the order of payment for old debts. So “Gazprom” since November, 1 has reduced the delivery of “blue fuel” on a half. In some days president Lukashenko has acted with sharp criticism of “Gazprom” and Russian authorities’ actions. Prime minister G. Novitsky managed to calm down the conflict apologizing in Moscow for fervor of badly informed chief, thus breaking all presidents’ recent interdictions and requirements. As a result, Belarus has not remained without gas in the beginning of a cold season but has to buy it now not at “Gazprom” but at “Itera” for $40 for 1000 cubic metre instead of $24. What is the reason of new rough public conflict between Moscow and Minsk? What conclusion can be made our of polemic and the argument, used by opponents? And who has achieved the purposes and who had to go on a concession – read about it in the comments of our experts, an economic observer of Belarusian service of Radio Liberty M. Zalessky and the Head of House of Representatives’ Commission on privatization, trade and housing policy V. Hrol.
We recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the “Person of the month”. We had many doubts about such a choice. You see, as a matter of fact, baring in mind the amount of presidential power and the style of management in Belarus, Lukashenko can be named the main person hardly every month. However in November the head of the state really showed the activity unusual even for himself. Reasons of president’s November activity, price of reconciliation with V. Putin and also the decision to be elected for the third term of presidency are discussed in comment of president of public association “Social technologies” A. Feduta.
It happened so that in this issue of “Infofocus” politicians and the structures of authorities are represented more than usually. And it has happened not because of inactivity of political opposition and NGO. In the past month the main problems were the problems of exclusive competence of the state bodies. Nobody except the government, our “Organization of the month”, can be engaged in preparation of the budget, sale of Belarusian shares of “Slavneft”, to negotiate with potential investors, to be engaged in practical implementation of agreements on delivery of energy resources to the country. Does the Council of Ministers cope with the tasks well? What are the reasons for its failures? Whether the president is ready to send the government in resignation? Answers to the questions are in the comment of IISEPS’ expert V. Dashkevich.
The section “Document of the month” this time represents the decree of the president assigning the elections to local authorities. This time maximum wide spectrum of political forces will participate in elections. Situation on the eve of elections and preparation for them, as well as Election code, and formation of election commissions in particular are analyze the vice-president of Central Electoral Committee N. Lozovik and the editor-in-chief of magazine “Adkrytae gramadstva” M. Plisko.
Besides in this issue we represent the most interesting results of public leaders and the experts poll, carried out by IISEPS in October-November. We hope, offered materials will be interesting and useful for you. We are waiting for your responses, remarks and offers!

IISEPS executive board

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