The Belarusian-Russian oil conflict once again demonstrates the fact that relations between both countries are far from what could have been called friendly. All the declarations of “eternal Slavic brotherhood” vanish once real money gets involved.
An article by one of this website’s authors for the on-line magazine Novaja Europa:
To be precise, the Belarusian officials have not yet approved the introduction of additional measures to regulate Internet in Belarus. However, Belarusian independent media have published a realistic draft of the document and the document has been discussed by the government.
The international community showed little interest in the Belarus-initiated amendment to the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
An interview with Michail Holasaŭ (Mikhail Golosov), a Belarus-born economics professor at Yale University. The initiative of these people is really worth admiration. It is very important for the Belarusian government to really seize this opportunity and to help economists from the Belarusian diaspora to realize their project. Having Europe's probably most backward and least reformed economy, where real market reforms might only have started a year ago or so, Belarus desperately needs the experience and knowledge of people like Michail Holasaŭ or Aleh Cyvinski (Tsyvinski). One should consider the example of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president and successful reformer, who invited young Georgian-born economists from the West to advise on economic reforms and even take key positions in the country's government. Economists with a global reputation have come to a conference in Minsk on December 28-29. They are united by Belarusian origin. And the desire to do something for Belarus. Naša Niva has talked to Mikhail Golosov, a professor of economics at Yale University (USA).
An interesting example of Belarusian-British cooperation. Minsk authorities largely develop the city via construction of Socialist-styled flat-blocks. Surrounding villages that get incorporated into the city are gradually being destroyed and replaced with the same depressive flat blocks. It would be good if they would find some replacement for Soviet architecture. The story appeared on www.thisisnottingham.co.uk:
One Santa, 14 Snow Maidens, and 5 New Year’s Bunnies marched in downtown Minsk Dec. 22 protesting restrictions on the public activities of unregistered organizations. The group hoped to register a petition to the Parliament asking to abolish Article 193.1 of Belarus’ Criminal Code. The petition had to be left in the Parliament’s mailbox instead.
The Venezuelan oil and energy minister announced a new Belarus-Venezuela oil project the Orinoco River Basin.
Belarus is a lonely country and Belarusian is a lonely language ignored by its own state and by most Belarusians, who almost exclusively use Russian in their everyday life. The death of Vera Rich is a big loss for Belarus although most Belarusians will hardly even hear of it. And it is God's big gift to us that there were and there are foreign friends of Belarus like her. Vera Rich has also been known as a translator of Ukrainian literature to English.
Members of the European Parliament agreed to prolong sanctions against Belarus while at the same time postponing their application. A resolution adopted Dec. 17 delays the imposition of travel restrictions on top Belarusian officials until Oct. 2010.
The International Monetary Fund completed its review of Belarus’s economic policies and approved another financial aid package to Belarus. This time it amounts to US$688 Million. The IMF noticed some improvements in the legal and institutional frameworks for privatization and in easing administrative controls. The IMF praised and encouraged Belarus' prudent credit policy and reduction of public deficit.