On February 1 the Belarusian delegation of united democratic forces headed by Alyaksandr Milinkevich, had a meeting with, Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine and leader of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, who stays in Brussels at the moment. It was informed by the United Civil Party press service.
Minsk city branch of the United Civil Party reports to journalists that 541 representatives of the party were nominated for precinct election commissions. Among the candidates are professors, people with experience in administration, students and pensioners. Formation of election commissions is to be finished on February 1, the international Monitoring Bureau informs.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly plans to send more than 400 observers to monitor Belarus` presidential election coming next month, Uta Zapf, head of the Assembly`s Working Group on Belarus, told reporters in Minsk on Wednesday.
“I underline that the European Parliament welcomes all initiatives that lead to real democracy in Belarus,” said European Parliament President Josep Borrell after the meeting with Alyaksandr Milinkevich.
Artur Finkevich and Alyaksei Yanusheuski, activists of the Young Front, have been detained today in Minsk by policemen. Artur Finkevich and Alyaksei Yanusheuski are charged with making graffiti “We Want a New One!” At the moment they are placed to Pershamajski district police department, but as informed by the press-service of the “Young Front”, it is expected they would be placed to a pre-trial detention center in Fabritsius Street. The activists are to spent 72 hours there.
On January 31 the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Glos znad Niemna in Exile” Andrzej Pisalnik was summoned to the chief assistant of Hrodna regional prosecutor Veniamin Lukjanau. The journalist had found out that a check of his articles in the newspaper “Glos znad Niemna in Exile” and a magazine “Magazyn Polski In Exile” is carried out.
A poster named “Time of Brave” with a photograph of Aliaxandar Lukashenka with young hockey-players is placed at the entrance to Grodna School #8 in the column of the election information. Moreover, in the school building there is information not only about the election, but about the activity of Aliaxandar Lukashenka as well.
Prominent opposition politician Nikolai Statkevich has expressed gratitude to all people who support him as he is serving a two-year “restricted freedom” term in Baranovichi. In his statement, the oppositionist says he has received hundreds of letters of support from across Belarus, as well as from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic in December and January. More than a thousand Christmas postcards have been mailed to the politician from the Netherlands alone. “All these messages represent a convincing sign that people in democratic Europe remember about Belarus. They express solidarity with those in our country who struggle for freedom and believe that Belarus will be free,” the statement reads.
Vladimir Putin defended his friendly ties with Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko, saying that they mean support of the brotherly nation, not the regime. Russia is pursuing a well-thought-out policy regarding Belarus, said the Russian president at his annual news conference on January 31.
Several dozens of Belarusian journalists have signed an address to the prosecutor of Minsk Mikalay Kulik. They ask to change the measure of restraint for the son of their colleague Veranika Charkasava, Anton Filimonau, and to release him from custody. Collection of signatures was initiated by a wife of Zmitser Zavadski, ORT cameraman disappeared in 2000, Svyatlana Zavadsakaya, a member of the public association “Belarusian Association of Journalists”. It is supposed that the address is to be sent to Mr Kulik on February 1.
January 31, militia officers tried to detain activists of the UCP Minsk municipal organization and MHSS-Young Democrats who were spreading the last issue of the newspaper “Narodnaya Volia” among passers-by at the underground station “Pushkinskaya”.
According to the Press Service of the Belarusian President, Aliaxandar Lukashenka is to render a business visit to the Russian Federation, February 1, to take part in solemn celebrations on the occasion of the 75-th anniversary of first Russian President Boris Eltsin.
Officers of the Zhlobin District Interior Affairs Department (ROVD) withdrew several hundreds of the legal newspaper “Tovarisch” - the printing body of the Party Belarusian of Communists (PBC), as editor-in-chief of the newspaper Siargey Vazniak told BelaPAN.
Representatives of Aleksandr Milinkevich`s camp on Tuesday complained about the lack of equal campaigning conditions in the ongoing presidential race to Uta Zapf, head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly`s Working Group on Belarus, who had arrived in Minsk on January 30.
Maxim Apelinski, a Zubr activist, was detained in Barysau. On January 30 in the evening policemen approached him and demanded to follow them to a town police department. In the Internal Affairs department he was told that he was detained for pasting leaflets. A report was drawn up on the administrative violation by Apelinski.
On February 1 in Washington a briefing dedicated to the current political situation in Belarus from the viewpoint of trans-Atlantic relations will be held, Chairman of the United States Helsinki Commission, Senator Sam Brownback informs. The deputies of the European Parliament Aldis Kuskis (Latvia) and Barbara Kudrycka (Poland) are to be in charge of panel discussions.
Russian Vice Prime Minister, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov stated that Russia will ditch its radar stations built in Soviet times in other former Soviet republics in Soviet times as new missile attack warning stations are set up in Russia.
Gazprom will invest $250 million to $300 million for the construction of underground gas storage facilities in Belarus, Vladimir Semashko, first deputy prime minister of Belarus, told reporters in Minsk on Monday.
A hearing will be held in the Minsk City Economic Court on February 15 to try a suit of the Presidential Administration`s property management department against the Union of Belarusian Writers (UBW). The date was set during a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
A filming crew of the Belarusian state TV channel ONT and Belarusian and Russian stars are to perform in all capitals of regions in the framework of a concert tour “For Belarus!”, which is to last for six weeks. Russian singers Valery Meladze, Nadezhda Babkina, Kristina Orbakajte, Alexandr Malinin, Valery Leontiev, Oleg Gazmanov, “Korni” band and others are to sing together with Belarusian artists.
Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas supplier, and Beltransgaz, Belarus’ gas supply and transportation company, are considering several possible ways of establishing a joint gas transport enterprise, Beltransgaz Chief Engineer Tsvitomir Sorokhan told reporters in Minsk on January 31.
Russian oil company RussNeft is prepared to help fund upgrades at Belarus` Polimir petrochemical plant, the company`s president said Tuesday. Mikhail Gutseriyev told President Alexander Lukashenko that RussNeft was ready to allocate funds from its 2005 $1-billion revenues and attract loans to help Belarus modernize the plant, which produces high-pressure polyethylene, acrylic fiber and consumer goods.