Foreign resident, apprehended red-handed on April 18 by the KGB agents, while receiving confidential files, was officially charged under art.358 of the Criminal Code "espionage", BelaPAN reports Fedor Kotov (head of the KGB information center) as alleging.
The following two letters, one from Richard Armitage, the newly-confirmed deputy secretary of state and the European Commission, are written statements given to a diaspora leader reflecting current policies. In his letter Mr.Armitage stresses his Administration`s recognition of the 13th Supreme Soviet and the necessity of conditions for presidential elections. We offer you the full text of both these letters:
In response to the recent spontaneous striking by the workers of the Minsk worsted complex with 400 personnel blocking the traffic on Mayakovskogo street, demanding salary payments in due time, the administration of the factory determined to let 60% of its staffers go on holiday leave and paid them little money for the purpose.
This year alone it rose by 120 billion rubles and by April 1 amounted to 423,3bln. Barter operations are gaining popularity so far: in 2000 cash payments constituted around 42% of the trade turnover, whereas in early 2001 they equaled to 20%. The greatest debt of all pertains to the agriculture - 65% of an overall size, 29bln. rubles are owed by the state-run institutions, especially those, working under the Ministry of Culture auspices. Low level of payments is registered within the Defense Ministry bodies - only 33% during the first quarter.
Belarus and Iraq signed an accord on the economic cooperation and agreed to launch air communications, which would lay the foundation for the flights between the capitals of the two states, reports the British broadcasting corporation BBC. The agreement was signed during the visit to Baghdad of the Belarusian delegation, made up of the officials and businessmen, chaired by the country`s vice-premier Vladimir Zametalin. On April 28 Zametalin met with the odious president of Iraq Saddam Hussein and passed over to the man Lukashenko`s personal greetings.
The Czech Republic abrogated intergovernmental treaties on visa-free travels for Russia and Belarus, along with the protocol on visa-free exchange with Ukraine. Concomitant diplomatic notes of the Czech Foreign Ministry were mailed to the embassies of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine on April 28. The previous agreements will lose legal force on May 29, whereas the visa regime with Ukraine will be imposed on June 28. Moscow envisages the introduction of similar measures for the Czech travelers after May 29.
Among 150 countries of the world, Belarus takes 129th spot according to the level of economic freedoms. Ukraine is nine places over that - 122nd, Russia - 117th. The Heritage Foundation estimates the freedom of economy worldwide under the following basic criteria: trade policy, duties, state`s interference with economy, monetary policy, capital turnover, banking policy, price control level, right of ownership.
The National headquarters for the sowing, which assembled for a meeting on April 28 under the guidance of the vice-premier Alexander Popkov, ordered the heads of the husbandries to urgently locate the resources to purchase means for cultivating the soil. Country`s collective farms are provided with slightly more than 30% of the necessary amount of chemicals, used to take care of the plants. The Ministry of Agriculture calls the situation the most complex in last three years.
In comparison with March the apartment rent (technical maintenance), elevator usage, central heating, hot and cold water supplies, gas and sewerage grew 4% costlier, removal and dumping of wastes - 7,7%, radio - 28,4%, reports BelaPAN.
Tariffs on cabs were raised in Belarus by 7,3%. One kilometer ride during the daytime (6-22) will now cost a traveler 295 rubles (275 rubles previously). One hour of demurrage will cost 2.950 (2.750 before). At night (22-6) one kilometer will cost 440 rubles (410 previously). One hour demurrage at night will grow from the previous 4.100 to 4.400 rubles. To order the cab through phone the customer will pay 200 rubles during the day and 300 rubles at night.