Belarus, Russia and the WTO, International business, Milinkevich, Media cleansing, Bill Clinton
Day of Solidarity: Let’s See that we Are Many!
From Charter ‘97
|Tell Friends About the Day of Solidarity!|
From the Top
ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO MEETS WITH THE HEAD OF THE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT DIRECTORATE OF THE PRESIDENT
The President granted his consent for simplifying registration procedure of the gratuitous help from abroad to a sum not exceeding 30 ‘base values’ and addressed to the legal persons which do not have pretensions to exemption from taxes. The innovation will make it possible to reduce the time frame for examining applications on registration of this kind of help by the Department for humanitarian activities under the Property Management Directorate of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
BELARUS TAKES OUT LOAN FROM WESTERN BANKS
From the NLIPRB
|JSC “BELGAZPROMBANK” Signs agreement on $15 million syndicated loan|
The lending rate makes LIBOR plus 4,45 per cent margin. Two transhes will be given to the bank: the first one – USD 5 million and the second one – in EUR equivalent to USD 10 million. Banks from six counties of Eastern and Western Europe are the loan participants.
According to Sergei Shaban, the funds will be spent on financing projects of the Belarusian companies in market conditions.
The JSC “Belgazprombank” was founded in September 1990. As of October 1, 2005 the bank’s assets reached USD 135 million; the credit portfolio – USD 80 million. “Fitch” rating agency assigned the bank ratings of Long-term foreign currency ‘B’ (B minus); Short-term foreign currency ‘B’; the Outlook is Stable.
ON BELARUSIAN-SWEDISH COOPERATION
From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office
|Lars-Åke Lagrell: Willing to talk business with Belarus|
The negotiations went off in the framework of the working visit of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Sweden Andrei Grinkevich to the Kronoberg county (central Sweden) which is one of the most advanced industrial regions of Sweden with flourishing machine-building, furniture and glass productions (ABB, IKEA, Orrefors companies are located in the region).
Andrei Grinkevich met with governor of the county Lars-Åke Lagrell. The parties discussed prospects of cooperation of the regional contacts between the two countries including trade and economic and investment cooperation. The parties reached a preliminary agreement about a visit of the Swedish business circles headed by Lars-Åke Lagrell to Brest oblast in 2006.
ПАВЛОВСКИЙ ПРОГНОЗИРУЕТ АРЕСТЫ РОССИЙСКИХ И БЕЛОРУССКИХ ОФИЦИАЛЬНЫХ ЛИЦ
Запад будет подбирать "ключи к белорусской ситуации". Такое мнение в опубликованном 10 ноября интервью российской "Независимой газете" высказал приближенный к Кремлю российский политолог, президент Фонда эффективной политики Глеб Павловский.
Свою позицию политолог высказал в связи с выдачей 8 ноября ордера на арест дочери госсекретаря «союзного государства» Павла Бородина Екатерины Силецкой. Прокуратура итальянского города Тренто обвиняет ее в коррупции и получении взяток во время реставрации Кремля в 90-х годах. Дочь госсекретаря якобы получила и отмыла более 5 млн. долларов.
"Совсем недавно представители Евросоюза выступили в Москве с прямой угрозой, заявив, что в том случае, если уровень демократии в Беларуси не будет соответствовать их стандартам, будут применены соответствующие меры, - отметил Г.Павловский. - Формулировка неопределенно-угрожающая, нескрываемая позиция. Вспомним выступления замминистра обороны США Эдельмана, когда он заявил, что Беларусь является проблемой для НАТО. Несомненно, идет и будет идти подбор ключей к белорусской ситуации. Один из таких ключей, наиболее популярный на Западе, - это политически сфокусированные уголовные обвинения. Это дела, которые лежат в ящике до того момента, как они потребуются".
"Надо быть готовым к дальнейшим подобным шагам. У нас с Беларусью «союз», неразделенное экономическое пространство, и любые действия против Беларуси будут отражаться и на России. Несомненно, надо ожидать и дальнейшего давления на персоналии. Поэтому российско-белорусским политикам, которые чувствуют за собой какие-то грешки, наверное, стоит повнимательней выбирать места для отдыха", - заявил Г.Павловский.
Сам П.Бородин пробыл в американской и швейцарской тюрьмах почти три месяца - с 18 января по 12 апреля 2001 года. Он обвинялся в отмывании 30 млн. долларов, полученных в качестве комиссионных от швейцарских компаний "Мабатекс" и "Мерката Трейдинг" за предоставление выгодных контрактов на реконструкцию Кремля. Уголовное дело в конечном итоге было прекращено.
TRADE BETWEEN BELARUS, UKRAINE EXPECTED TO EXCEED $2 BLN IN 2006:
COUNTRIES SET TO DISCUSS CO-OPERATION IN POWER-ENGINEERING AND INDUSTRY
From Novosti and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office
|First Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Semashko|
At the final stages of the negotiations Ukraine confirms its intention to supply Belarus with approximately 2.5 million kWh of electric energy per year. The ministries are close to reaching an agreement on the price, the terms and signing a relevant contract for next year, he said.
During the meeting the Vice Prime Ministers also discussed the prospects of sharing the facilities of Odessa-Brody oil pipeline and two gas pipelines – Torzhok-Dolina and Ivatsevichi-Dolina. The parties negotiated equipment supplies for Beltransgaz and export terms of Mozyr Oil Refinery production to Ukraine.
Trade between Belarus and Ukraine could exceed $2 billion next year, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Stanislav Stashevsky said following talks with his Belarusian counterpart Friday.
"During the first nine months of this year, the volume of trade has reached $1.3 billion, surpassing the indicator for the whole of 2004," Stashevsky said. "The figure is expected to grow to $1.7 billion by year's end."
Stashevsky said the meeting between the two countries' presidents in Kazan, in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan, several months ago, had given a boost to economic cooperation.
"It gave a kind of impetus to a number of mutually benefiting projects," he said.
Stashevsky and Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko signed an action plan for 2006 for implementing the 1999-2008 cooperation program.
SINGLE CANDIDATE TO PRESIDENCY GOES ON STUMP
|Milinkevich: Pounding the pavement for Belarus|
As the BelaPAN was informed in the press-group of the candidate’s headquarters, A.Milinkevich plans to meet with vendors of the town market, with democratic activists, arts, to take part in a hot line with the readers of the newspaper “Intex-press”. Besides, a meeting with a political prisoner, the chairman of the Social Democratic party (Narodnaya Hramada) Mikola Statkevich is expected. M.Statkevich is serving a two-year term in Baranavichy for organizing a mass rallies in Minsk as a protest against the rigged official results of the referendum on Constitution amendments and the results of the parliamentary elections in October 2004.
BELARUS AND RUSSIA DRAFT AGREEMENTS ON UNDERSTANDING IN WTO ACCESSION ISSUES
|Belarus would like to join the "Fat Cats" at the WTO simultaneously with Russia|
In line with the document, if one of the countries joins the WTO first, the bilateral relations between Belarus and Russia will not deteriorate and other countries will not be given more preferential terms in mutual trade. The document will be submitted for consideration of the heads of state in the near future, Alexander Mikhnevich said.
“Belarus would like to join WTO simultaneously with Russia but it could be different”, he said. Even if Russia becomes a WTO member earlier than Belarus, the economy of the latter will not be affected. Moreover, the Belarusian side would be able to learn from Russia’s experience to complete all WTO accession procedures. The WTO regulations and rules do not exclude possible unions between states including in customs sphere if this does not hurt their membership in the World Trade Organization.
Belarus also proposes SES members to sign document to coordinate WTO accession procedures
The Belarusian side proposes other members of the Single Economic Space /SES/ - Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine to sign a document to coordinate accession procedures to the World Trade Organization /WTO/, deputy foreign minister of this republic Alexander Mikhnevich told a press conference.
“At the level of the “four” we propose to sign a document analogous to the one prepared within the framework of the Belarus-Russia Union State. This idea is under discussion and we want the High-Level Group for the SES Forming to discuss it at one of its forthcoming sittings”, Alexander Mikhnevich said.
Deputy chief of the main department for foreign activity of the foreign ministry Anton Kudasov explained that the idea to reach a bilateral agreement with Russia to coordinate the WTO accession issues has emerged as Russia is likely to become a WTO member quite soon and because “there is a politicized position of the WTO member-states on Belarus and Russia”. “Attempts were taken to impose the obligations hampering the implementation of bilateral agreements”, he noted.
“Apparently the two countries should sign a corresponding document in some other format with the view of offering certain guarantees to economic entities”, the foreign ministry’s official said. According to him, Ukraine has recently stated the desire to specify some positions to avoid mutual claims in bilateral trade after one of the country accedes to the WTO.
However, joining the WTO has not been without problems. More and more elements of political pressure are appearing in the negotiations on Belarus’ accession to the World Trade Organization /WTO/, deputy foreign minister of this republic Alexander Mikhnevich told a press conference.
He has noted that it is an inadmissible situation for WTO, when some countries “are trying to drag out and politicize the negotiations”. The Belarusian side also does not understand why final decisions in the organization are taken by four or five states, when it unites 148 countries. Moreover, why countries-candidates have to undertake more obligations than the countries who joined the organization earlier.
In May this year during a sitting of the WTO working group Belarus proposed to start compiling a final report on its accession to WTO. However, because of the position of the European Union, the USA and some other states a decision was taken to hold one more sitting and to continue the negotiations.
The Belarusian side also answered all the questions it had been posed. At a regular round of the talks on October 20-26 this country proposed to proceed to the final stage of the negotiations. “Most of the countries including India, Cuba and Turkey supported this initiative whereas the USA and the European Union stated it was early to discuss the final report, as they did not understand some aspects of the foreign economic activity of this republic”, Alexander Mikhnevich said.
They concern the “golden share” right and frequent cases of confiscation of goods on the western border of Belarus. However, this has nothing to do with the WTO norms and standards. Besides, the right of golden share is exercised not only in Belarus but in several European countries, for example, France. Confiscating of goods does not violate any of international norms, the deputy foreign minister said. He further noted that WTO was created to liberalize the international trade whereas the rules of the organization provide for strict and grounded customs regulations.
“It causes some bewilderment that the negotiations are dragged out not by the countries who actively trade with Belarus but by those who view trade with Belarus in theory”, Alexander Mikhnevich said. For example, the trade turnover of Belarus and the USA is about USD 100 million. The things are different with China – the bilateral trade accounts for USD 500 million. On the other side, the trade is increasing with the countries of Western Europe. Belarusian exports to the EU countries amount to 40 per cent of its total volume. The EU should be interested in promoting the negotiations with Belarus. However, the negotiation positions are far from being close, the deputy foreign minister stressed.
SERGEI GAIDUKEVICH SPEAKS ON THE CONVENTION ON CIVIL AND LEGAL ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CORRUPTION
From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office
|Gaidukevich: International cooperation between law-enforcement bodies will promote prevention of corruption|
The convention is being considered by the Lower Chamber of the Belarusian Parliament. The treaty is conceived to strengthen international cooperation against corruption.
Belarus signed the document in March 2005. The convention includes about forty countries, Germany, Italy and France among them.
“Today many countries toughen measures on combating corruption. Adopting the convention we are making a political step forward as well – we declare that we agree with the international community. We receive additional opportunities of mutually beneficial contract with foreign states in the sphere of civil legal procedure on corruption. International cooperation between law-enforcement bodies will promote prevention of such crimes”, the Deputy noted.
Belarus carries out consistent policy in combating corruption, therefore Belarus is treated as a country with a low corruption index.
BELARUS: AUTHORITIES 'CLEANSE' MEDIA AHEAD OF 2006 VOTE
By Jan Maksymiuk for Radio Free Europe
This week Belposhta, Belarus's state postal service decided to exclude three private periodicals from its subscription catalogue for the first half of 2006. Belposhta is a monopoly, which disseminates the country's press through subscription. The move seems to be a repressive measure intended to marginalize the remainder of opposition-minded press in Belarus ahead of the 2006 presidential election.
The targeted periodicals are the daily "Narodnaya volya" and the weeklies "Salidarnasts" and "Zhoda." "Narodnaya volya" has a print run of 27,000 copies, "Salidarnasts" 5,400, and "Zhoda" 3,000. Belposhta explained the move against the newspapers in three similar notifications saying that, "Each economic entity has the right to be guided by economic expediency in its commercial activities."
Apart from this explanation sent to "Narodnaya volya," Belposhta also charged that the daily failed to notify it about a change of the printer.
The newspapers' editors were bemused by the decision, to say the least. "It is unclear how this concerned the distributor, as the schedule of publication did not change and the volume remained the same," "Narodnaya volya" Editor in Chief Svyatlana Kalinkina commented. "Narodnaya volya" has filed a suit against Belposhta over the subscription stoppage."Salidarnasts" Editor in Chief Alyaksandr Starykevich said that non-state media in Belarus are now entering "an era of the Internet and samizdat."
Both Kalinkina and Starykevich concur that it will be extremely difficult for them to organize an independent distribution network for their periodicals. "Narodnaya volya," "Salidarnasts," and "Zhoda" have long struggled to remain afloat in an unwelcoming media environment. Both domestic and foreign human rights activists have accused the Belarusian authorities of trying to liquidate or gag the independent media.
"Narodnaya volya," as the largest of the three periodicals, was a special target for the authorities in the past two years. The daily was initially plagued with libel suits -- since March 2004, "Narodnaya volya" has received fines of some $90,000 in four separate libel cases.
In a country where the official monthly wage is around $200, such exorbitant damages were apparently intended to ruin the newspaper economically. However, each time the daily was able to collect the money for damages among its sponsors and readers and remain afloat.
In April, Zhanna Litvina, chairwoman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, predicted that the Belarusian authorities were seeking "a total cleansing of the information sector" in the country. Yelena Raubetskaya, chairwoman for the Fund for the Development of Regional Press, was even bleaker in her prognosis. She said that libel suits against independent media would be followed by the removal of major nonstate publications from state-run print shops and state-controlled press-distribution networks. "I am absolutely sure that by 2006, the nongovernmental press that writes about politics will no longer exist," Raubetskaya added.
Raubetskaya's prediction has unfortunately proved true. In September, Belsayuzdruk, Belarus's state monopoly that runs a nationwide network of kiosks and newsstands, terminated a contract for the distribution of "Narodnaya volya" after a court froze the newspaper's bank account and seized newsprint demanding payment of libel damages.
The same day, the Minsk-based printing plant Chyrvonaya zorka annulled its contract for printing the daily. "Narodnaya volya" -- like nearly a dozen other Belarusian independent periodicals, including "Salidarnasts" and "Zhoda" -- was forced to find a printer in Smolensk, a Russian provincial capital near the Belarusian border.
Apart from restricting distribution and applying economic pressure, the authorities employ other, more indirect, tactics against the independent press. In August and September, some independent newspapers in Belarus had to reregister under new names, because in May President Alyaksandr Lukashenka issued a decree limiting the use of the words "national" and "Belarusian" in the names of organizations. Private media outlets were not allowed to use both of these words in their names.
The presidential decree in particular compelled many newspapers to reregister: "Belorusskaya delovaya gazeta" ("Belarusian Business Newspaper") as "BDG; Delovaya gazeta," "Natsionalnaya ekonomicheskaya gazeta" ("National Economic Newspaper") as "Ekonomicheskaya gazeta," "Belorusskii rynok" ("Belarusian Market") as "Belorussy i rynok" ("Belarusians and the Market"); and "Belorusskaya gazeta" as "Belgazeta."
Many Belarusian commentators said that the reregistation was primarily intended to confuse and disorient the readers of independent periodicals and make it difficult for them to find their preferred publications on newsstands or in subscription catalogues.
This year, the Belarusian authorities also set a precedent by de facto nationalizing a private periodical. The situation occurred in May, during a Polish-Belarusian diplomatic row over the new leadership of the Union of Poles in Belarus (SPB), which was supported by Warsaw but not recognized by Minsk.
Warsaw was forced to suspend the sponsoring of the SPB weekly "Glos znad Niemna" ("Voice From Over The Niemen River") after a state printing plant in Belarus refused to publish materials prepared by its editorial staff and published several fake issues of the weekly with articles reflecting only official Minsk's stance on the SPB standoff. "It is a de facto nationalization of an independent publication," Andrzej Poczobut, a ethnic Polish journalist in Belarus, told RFE/RL. "If you ask my opinion about who's behind this, I'm sure it is the [Belarusian] KGB."
Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the Belarusian opposition's choice to challenge Lukashenka in the 2006 presidential election, believes that the official distribution restrictions against "Narodnaya volya," "Salidarnasts," and "Zhoda" testify to the Belarusian regime's growing uncertainty about how Belarusians will behave during the ballot. "The authorities' move looks surprising at first glance, as there are almost no independent newspapers left in the Belarusian news industry," Milinkevich said. "This means that the authorities are seriously afraid of the forthcoming presidential election and are seeking to deprive our people of the opportunity to hear an alternative point of view."
But this move also leaves him and his election staff with a thorny dilemma about how, if at all, the opposition will manage to present an alternative point of view to the electorate in the presidential campaign.
UN OFFICIAL CALLS FOR PROBE INTO BELARUSIAN JOURNALISTS' DEATHS
|Severin to Belarus: It is time to clean out the skeletons from the closets|
Severin said in a statement that the killings of Veranika Charkasava and Vasil Hrodnikau must be resolved and their perpetrators prosecuted.
Charkasava, a correspondent for the trade-union newspaper "Salidarnasts," was stabbed to death in her Minsk apartment in October 2004. Hrodnikau, a reporter for the "Narodnaya volya" newspaper, was found dead near his home in Minsk last month.
In his statement, Severin criticizes Belarusian authorities for harassing "Narodnaya volya" and urges them to respect freedom of opinion and expression.
In related news, reports from Minsk said opposition leader Mikola Statkevich was transferred to house arrest today.
Statkevich, chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party, was sentenced to two years of corrective labor last year for staging a protest rally in Minsk.
Note: The following article is intended to add depth to the previous articles about Mikalai Charhiniets and Belarisian visa issues.
MIKALAI CHARHINIETS CALLS ON BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES “TO ADEQUATELY REACT TO DISRESPECT OF BELARUS”
From Viasna via RFE/RL
|Charhiniets: When it is not right, it is not right!|
The reason was that last year Charhiniets used his participation in the UN mission for monitoring of the presidential election in the US, which didn’t correspond to his visa:
"A year has passed and they suddenly remembered it. I understand, they took offence after my sharp speech at the UN where I, being a lawyer, managed to prove their criticism addressed to my country was false. They are also offended I pointed at the lawlessness of the attempts to continue the blockade of Cuba. And the main – being a member of OSCE mission I honestly executed my duty during the election monitoring."
According to Charhiniets, in the evening of 8 November he received a telephone call from the US State Department informing he could receive the visa in the case he signed the written undertaking not to exceed the powers of the UN session participant. Mr. Charhiniets, however, considers such condition insulting and unacceptable. He believes the State Department exceeds its powers by hindrance to his participation in the UN session and urges Belarusian authorities to act accordingly:
"We must act by the rule: If they don’t recognize us – let us not recognize them."
Let us remind, it is not the first time when Mr. Charhiniets is not let to US session in the US. In 1998 Aliaksandr Lukashenka ordered to forcibly evict some Western diplomatic missions from the settlement of Drazdy not far from Minsk. The ambassadors of those countries decided to protest and temporary left Belarus. The governments of several countries, including the US, declared a number of high Belarusian officials non-grata, Mikalai Charhiniets among them.
However, that time he managed to receive visa. According to the independent journalist Raman Iakaulieuski, it happened so:
"Charhiniets tried to get to the UN session in New-York. At first he was refused visa. He was very offended and stated he was going to the US not only to take part in the UN session, but also in order to pass the documents about the American soldiers who disappeared without notice in Vietnam and Afghanistan. He showed to me these documents: photos and certificates – but didn’t explain where he took them from. I should remind he also fought in Afghanistan. He stated he wouldn’t pass the documents unless he received visa. By the way, the commission on search for the missing soldiers in Vietnam and Afghanistan still works in Moscow and he could pass the documents there. I think it is not a sign of high morality to put such ultimatum to Americans: either you give me visa or receive no documents."
The US Embassy still comments neither on its refusal nor on Charhiniets’ statement the visa can be issued on some conditions.
CLINTON SAYS TRANSITION FROM COMMUNISM 'IMPRESSIVE'
| Bill Clinton speaking in Prague on 11 November |
Clinton spoke in Prague on 11 November on the second day of the annual Club of Madrid conference of former heads of state or government focusing on democracy in the post-communist world.
Clinton said the Serbian province of Kosovo is now going through a "critical period" with talks expected to start soon aimed at settling the future status of the territory. He also said efforts must continue to support development of a genuine democracy in Serbia.
"I supported your freedom and I still do," Clinton told RFE/RL. "And I think it's very important now that we maintain both order in Kosovo and respect for the legitimate rights of all people, including the minorities. What the Serbs did to the Kosovar Albanians was terrible, but the Kosovar Albanians should not now respond in kind. We should all find a way to live together, work together and go forward together."
Clinton also said he was in favor Turkish membership of the European Union because Turkey could become a gateway to the Middle East.
In his remarks at the meeting, former Czech President Vaclav Havel urged the support of pro-democracy movements and dissidents in Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, and North Korea.
EXHIBITION “JEAN PAUL SARTRE AND SIMONA DE BEAUVOIR. FIVE DAYS IN LITHUANIA” OPENS IN MINSK
|Sartre: Happy 100th Birthday!|
Speaking at the opening ceremony BSU rector Vasiliy Strazhev expressed hope that the exhibition will become another “bridge” connecting the Belarusian and Lithuanian peoples that have close historical, cultural, scientific and educational ties.
In an interview with a BelTA correspondent Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lithuanian Republic to this country Petras Vajtekiunas noted that the exhibition is devoted to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jean Paul Sartre which is marked this year. The exhibition features the photos taken in June, 1965 when the famous intellectual couple of Paris was visiting Lithuania.
«СOMEDIE LA BELARUS» is at the little theatre in Minsk.
— Скажите, какой сегодня спектакль?
— А как называется?
— Это я понимаю. А название у него какое?
Разговор у кассы.
СOMEDIЕ LA BELARUS
Задник — гигантская репродукция «Над городом» Марка Шагала. Соединение великого и смешного, космического и бытового: парящая в воздухе пара влюбленных, а внизу — обнесенный глухим забором деревянный захолустный Витебск. На сцене стоят пенек с топором, метла, таз и бутыль с самогоном.
Трудно было бы придумать другую сценографию к «Комедии» Владимира Рудова, потому что «Комедия» тоже таит в себе несколько смыслов. Это когда сначала смеются, а потом плачут. Или наоборот.
11 октября состоялся едва ли не шестисотый показ «Комедии». Происходило это на сцене Театра им. Янки Купалы при полном аншлаге. Было много смеха, хохот стоял гомерический, и много аплодисментов.
LUKASHENKA TO TAKE THE ICE AGAINST HOCKEY LEGENDS
|Lukashenka: He will crash the boards with you|
The team of the guests is composed of many-time world and European champions, winners of Canada Cup and other prestigious tournaments. Sergei Babinov, Viacheslav Anisin, Vladimir and Alexander Golikovs, Alexander Gusev, Yuriy Liapkin, Irek Gimaev, Ilya Biakin and other stars of the Soviet hockey will appear on ice to bring pleasure to Belarusian hockey fans.
BELARUS’ WEIGHT-LIFTERS LEAVE TODAY FOR QATAR: STAJKI BREAKS RECORD IN PRACTICE
|Andrei Rybakov breaks a world record in practice|
Leaving for Doha /the capital of Qatar/ chief coach of the national team Alexander Goncharov told a BelTA correspondent that at the training session at the sports facility Stajki, Rubakov, the silver prizewinner of the Olympic Games-2004 in Athens pressed 190kg to beat the world record currently standing at 182kg.
This is good news before the weightlifting world championships, chief coach of the national team Alexander Goncharov told BelTA. He believes Andrei Rybakov can win a medal not only in the snatch but also the clean and jerk. Belarusian Nikolai Pototskiy (94kg category), Sergei Karasev and Viktor Kapranov will also compete in the tournament.
The absence of women is driven by the fact that silver prizewinner 2004 in Athens Anna Batiushka is at the rehabilitation and bronze holder Tatiana Stukalova will soon become a mother.
The main event in weightlifting will be the world championships 2007. The athletes will compete not only for medals but for the spots at the Games-2008 in Beijing, Alexander Goncharov stated.
Belarusian Day of Solidarity: November 16th