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Belarus president wants corruption prevention efforts increased
Belarus president demanded that law enforcement bodies should step up efforts to prevent corruption phenomena and crimes, first of all, in the economic sphere, and should take strict measures against persons, who commit such crimes. The instruction was issued when prosecutor general Piotr Miklashevich was delivering his report to the head of state on December 4.
BelTA learnt from the press service of the Belarusian leader, over the ten months of the year prosecution bodies detected around 3,000 corruption crimes, including 920 bribery-related crimes, which is slightly less than the number registered a year earlier. Piotr Miklashevich attributed the decrease to the state policy aimed at counteracting corruption.
The prosecutor general informed the president about the measures taken this year in line with the state anti-corruption programme for 2002-2006. The prosecution teamed up with the concerned state agencies and developed a state anti-corruption programme for 2007-2010. The new programme includes a set of organisational, legal, economic, educational and other measures. The draft programme is expected to be approved by the president soon.
The president was informed about the inspection of the fulfilment of presidential decree No. 58 of January 28, 2006 Some Aspects of Land Plots Requisitioning and Allocation. The prosecution had detected misuse and ineffective utilisation of land through the fault of executive and administrative authorities. The prosecution had drawn 186 bills of prosecution response. Over 100 citizens faced administrative and disciplinary punishment. Criminal proceedings were instituted against 5 officials of executive bodies.
Belarus president demanded that law enforcement agencies should exercise severe control over the observation of land laws and should fix violations in the field.
The number of corruption crimes registered in Belarus has decreased. Over the ten months of the year prosecution bodies detected around 3,000 corruption crimes, including 920 bribery-related crimes, which is slightly less than the number registered a year earlier. Piotr Miklashevich attributed the decrease to the state policy aimed at counteracting corruption.
The head of state demanded that law enforcement bodies should step up efforts to prevent corruption phenomena and crimes, first of all, in the economic sphere, and should take strict measures against persons, who commit such crimes.
Belarus President Supports Nuclear Power Plant Plant
Belarus’ president said Friday he supported an estimated $2.5-billion project to build a nuclear power plant in the country to cut its dependence on energy imports, Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reports.
Belarusian scientists drafted a plan for the NPP in May but no final decision followed. The plant with generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts would take about 10 years to build and is expected to reduce Belarusian dependence on Russia’s energy by 24%.
“Belarusian scientists and experts ... have unanimously approved a resolution to build an NPP in the country and to begin all necessary arrangements this year,” Alexander Lukashenko told an energy security conference.
Belarus currently imports most of its energy from Russia. The two countries are in tense talks over the gas price for next year. Russia is seeking to quadruple the current price of $46.68 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Lukashenko said his latest talks with the Russian leadership concerned a possible hydrocarbon deficit.
“Our negotiations for the first time highlighted a possible hydrocarbon deficit in the future, and Belarus might have to face lack of hydrocarbons due to shortfalls inside Russia,” he said.
Lukashenko said nuclear plants were the best way to overcome a global energy crisis.
“Nuclear energy is widely used in Europe. About 80% of France’s electricity is generated at nuclear plants,” he said.
Experts said the share of nuclear power in Belarus’ energy balance could rise to 20%, and the share of natural gas could decline to 50% by 2020 if the project was implemented. By 2050, the plant could bring the share of nuclear power to 85%.
Lukashenko said a location for the plant would be carefully selected to avoid any risks to human health. “There can be no mistake in choosing the site,” he said, adding that safety requirements must be strictly observed.
Belarus was one of the worst-hit countries in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl NPP disaster, RIA-Novosti reports.
First nuclear unit might be started in 2013
A nuclear power plant might be put into operation in Belarus in 2013, official information sources quoted Mikhail Myasnikovich, head of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences (BNAS), as commenting on Friday's government conference on energy security.
Mr. Myasnikovich said that Aleksandr Lukashenko had tasked experts with considering the possibility of starting the first unit by that year.
The Belarusian authorities have not so far announced any decision on the construction of a nuclear power station in the country. The matter was under scrutiny at the Friday conference chaired by Mr. Lukashenko.
Mr. Myasnikovich said that experts had suggested locating the station near Krasnaya Polyana, Chausy district, Mogilyov region, but no site exploration had been carried out yet.
He revealed that a nuclear power station also could be constructed near the country's western border. "This issue is also topical," he said.
Mr. Lukashenko also directed that the government should submit its proposals for the construction of the station as soon as possible, he added
Russia’s Gazprom Says “There’s Enough Gas For Everyone”
Russian state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom said on Thursday, that although it would have to import increasing volumes of Central Asian gas to meet its commitments to European customers, there will be no shortfalls in supply.
Sergei Kupriyanov, spokesman of the Russian monopoly, indicated that despite fears of supply squeeze, Gazprom intended to increase its exports to Britain and to “strengthen its position” on the British market. “It is clear that with the increase in demand for UK gas imports, our participation in the market will increase,” Kupriyanov was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Gazprom, which owns one-sixth of the world’s natural gas, pipes 30 percent of its output to Europe and provides around 4 percent of Britain’s gas supply. But there have been growing indications that its declining gas fields and failure to invest in new exploration and production could squeeze output, threatening shortages.
One source close to the company said there were fears of a shortage next year was quoted by the British paper as saying: “The company has lots of contracts with lots of customers in Western Europe, Belarus and the UK and has to find new fields to replenish old ones.”
Officially, executives insist there is enough gas for everyone: the headline on the latest company monthly magazine is “Khvatit na vsekh” (“There’s enough for everyone”).
Explaining situation with Gazprom’s deliveries, the company’s spokesman said: “This is not about a shortfall of gas, it’s about a shortfall of cheap gas.” Domestic gas prices in Russia are currently below production costs. Last year, Gazprom lost 8 billion rubles ($296 million) on its domestic gas business. Kupriyanov was quoted as saying: “We must get to the point of liberalizing gas prices in our country. If we get to a stage of equal prices for domestic and foreign markets it will influence decisions by customers.” Russian authorities promise to double domestic prices by 2010, but increase next year will only amount to 14-15 percent.
The gas giant’s representative said that meanwhile imports of cheaper Central Asian gas will grow. From Turkmenistan alone, Gazprom plans to more than double imports over the next four years to as much as 80 billion cubic meters — around 14 percent of its own output.
And in the latest gossip: Gazprom Closing In on Belarus' Pipeline Control
From: St Petersburg Times
Gazprom is close to reaching a final deal with Belarus that would give it partial control over the country's pipeline network in exchange for a lower gas price, officials in Moscow and Minsk said Wednesday.After years of stalled talks between Gazprom and Belarussian state pipeline network Beltransgaz, a 50-50 joint-venture deal is due to be reached by Jan. 1, Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said.
Gazprom has long sought greater control of the pipelines that deliver gas through Belarus and on to Germany, Lithuania and Poland. The talks have stalled over differing valuations of Beltransgaz.
Minsk has said that Gazprom's attempts to raise drastically the price that Belarus pays for gas imports, along with brief cutoffs of supplies, are intended to pressure Minsk into accepting Gazprom's terms.
President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow would "capitalize part of the gas price in the value of Beltransgaz" as part of the deal.
Dutch bank ABN Amro has finished an independent valuation of Beltransgaz. In the past, Gazprom has valued the company at about $1 billion, while Minsk says it is worth $5 billion.
The two sides had "earlier agreed that whatever the [independent] valuation would be, we would accept it," Putin said after the close of a Commonwealth of Independent States summit in Minsk on Tuesday.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov declined to provide details, saying only that the company was studying documents presented by Beltransgaz. An ABN Amro spokeswoman declined to comment.
Gazprom has said that concessions on ownership of Belarus' pipeline network would prompt it to ease demands that the country pay $200 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas starting next year, a steep hike from the $47 it currently pays.
Kupriyanov said a price had been agreed upon, but refused to provide details until the official close of talks. When asked to name the price, Kupriyanov would only say: "It's a market price."
Gazprom has been steadily raising prices for former Soviet republics, hoping to bring them closer to the European market average.
"We will switch to market relations with all partners, with no exceptions," Putin said during Tuesday's summit.
Critics of the Kremlin's energy policies have noted, however, that Gazprom's price hikes often ride on the back of political crises.
Gazprom asked Georgia to pay $230 per 1,000 cubic meters, more than double the $110 it currently pays, after Tbilisi expelled four Russian military officers on spying charges in September.
Medvedev: gas price increase will only strengthen Belarusian-Russian ties
An increase in the Russian natural gas price for Belarus would only strengthen bilateral relations, RIA Novosti quoted Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's first deputy prime minister, as saying at a media forum in Moscow on Monday.
The move will not separate the two countries but forge stronger ties between them because it will exclude questions, such as "who underpays the other, who lives at the other's expense and who has taken a larger bite out of the other," from bilateral "economic dialogue," he said after being asked whether an increase in the price would affect the progress in the establishment of the Belarusian-Russian Union State.
Mr. Medvedev expressed confidence that Belarus and Russia would soon strike a "totally acceptable" deal on the appraisal of Beltransgaz, Belarus' national gas distribution network in which Russian gas giant Gazprom has long been eyeing a controlling stake, and that the deal would strengthen relations between the two countries within the framework of the Union State.
Many Russian experts believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin will choose Mr. Medvedev as his successor.
Underground and Exile Gay Events Planned for Belarus
Plans are underway to organize ‘rainbow’ events, both underground in Belarus and in ‘exile’ during the next year.
The move comes after the cancellation of last month’s Minsk stage of the 2006 ILGCN (International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network) world rainbow cultural conference following the arrest of seven lesbian and gay Belarus activists.
“We had appealed to the international community to join us in Minsk to help break our isolation and make a difference - and we believe that this human contact is more important than ever before,” said Slava Bortnik of LGBT Amnesty Belarus, one of those arrested.
The ILGCN had earlier arranged other ‘Belarus in Exile’ events in Stockholm and London when Belarus authorities denied visas to foreigners and after earlier events in the Belarus capital were marred by police violence and where venues were shut down and participants thrown into the streets.
The Poznan stage of the 2006 ILGCN conference which took place on November 18 supported efforts on behalf of Belarus in the coming year, and the new ILGCN Eastern Europe Secretariat in Warsaw is to give special attention to Belarus.
“We are asking our ILGCN colleagues to help arrange ‘exile’ events in neighbouring Poland, Latvia and Lithuania – and plan some kind of international underground rainbow events in Belarus,” said Bill Schiller, secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat in Stockholm.
“It was crucial to meet face to face with these gay activists who had been detained and interrogated – noting that instead of becoming discouraged and giving up, they take this harassment and threats from the special police as part of daily life in this last dictatorship of Eastern Europe – determined to remain on the rainbow barricades.
“I’m proud also that the Swedish Institute supported my visit to Minsk, underlining that the official Swedish body responsible for international exchange gives both Belarus and ‘rainbow’ rights there a high priority,” Mr. Schiller concluded.
Police briefly detain Belarusian opposition leader for 3rd time in 2 weeks: spokesman
Police briefly detained Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich on Monday for the third time in two weeks, accusing him of drug trafficking, his spokesman said.
Pavel Mazheyka said security agents had received an anonymous tip about alcohol and drugs in the car Milinkevich was riding in the city of Belozyorsk, about 270 kilometers (165 miles) southwest of the capital, Minsk.
Police forced Milinkevich and two other opposition activists to a police station, where they remained even though a search of the car did not reveal any drugs or liquor, he said. He was released about three hours later.
"This yet again proves the theory that this is just the latest provocation against the leader of the opposition," Mazheyka said.
Today in Europe
Hunger strike by Serb nationalist worries The Hague EU trade report could lead to curbs in protectionism Turkey facing identity crisis
Milinkevich has been traveling around the country before local council elections scheduled for next month.
He was detained earlier because he allegedly resembled someone who had been in a car that had fatally run over a pedestrian. After traveling to Latvia to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush at a NATO summit last month, he was stopped by authorities at the Minsk airport for allegedly carrying a forged passport.
Milinkevich, the main challenger to authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, led unprecedented demonstrations in Minsk after the March presidential vote, which officials said Lukashenko won overwhelmingly, but opposition activists and Western countries rejected as rigged.
He spent two weeks in jail following an April 26 protest that attracted about 10,000 people.
Also Monday, the U.S. Embassy said U.S. Ambassador Karen Stewart met with the wife of Alexander Kozulin, another opposition presidential candidate who is serving a five and a half-year prison sentence and is in the 46th day of a hunger strike.
At the meeting last Thursday, Irina Kozulina said her husband had lost 40 kilograms (nearly 90 pounds), according to the U.S. Embassy. His lawyer and family have been forbidden with meeting him, she said, adding, "we fear the worst."
"It is tragic that the oppression of the regime has forced Belarusians to take drastic measures to express their views," the embassy said.
Opposition leaders eager to discuss EU's new strategy toward Belarus with top government officials
The National Committee of the United Pro-democracy Forces has called for a discussion of the European Union's new strategy toward Belarus with top government officials.
In particular, the leaders of the united opposition forces have called on Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky and Gennady Nevyglas, head of the Presidential Administration, to hold a joint discussion focusing on the 25-nation bloc's offer of cooperation.
Brussels said last week that it would offer more aid and trade to Minsk if it made progress on democracy and human rights. The offer got a cold reaction from Minsk.
Commenting on the proposed strategy, United Civic Party leader Anatoly Lebedko said that it is intended both for the government and all citizens of Belarus. "It concerns almost everyone. And this means that a collective decision should be made. Monopoly or taboo are not acceptable here," the politician said. "A public nationwide discussion on television and in newspapers is needed. This is indeed a barely visible path that we can start moving down toward the direction opposite to a split, confrontation and hostility."
The National Committee plans to launch a campaign to inform the public about the EU's offer. "People should be entitled to choice. Ungarbled and reliable information will help them make a conscious choice," Mr. Lebedko noted.
Fifteen Named for Belarus Eurofest
Belarusian broadcaster BRTC has released details of the songs shortlisted for their 2007 Eurovision national final, 'Eurofest'.
The shortlist includes an entry by the group Litesound (pictured), which may prove ineligible. The group performed a song called 'Summer Trip' at an Italian music festival over the summer. The group insist that it was a different song to the one planned for Eurofest, although it has the same title.
The final decision about which act will get to grace the stage in Finland will once again be made by government officials. The public will, however, be encouraged to help narrow down the field from a selection of potential Eurovision performers.
In December, from the fifteen acts taking part in 'Eurofest', a government-backed jury will choose two finalists. Televoters will also be allowed to pick their favourite from a televised show. If the public winner is not in the top two chosen by the jury, this third act will go through to the next stage of the competition.
Although viewers will see each performer singing possible Eurovision songs, there is no guarantee that any of the songs will go through to the Eurovision Song Contest itself. The purpose of the show is to introduce the performers alone.
The final three will be invited to perform a range of potential songs at closed auditions and discussions will take place with the performers and their management to see who can offer the best plan to improve the Belarusian reputation at Eurovision. Television viewers will get to see the two or three finalists and their songs, but will have no say over who goes to Helsinki.
Russian Gas Giant Battles Negative Energy
From: By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
For a company that has a market capitalization about the size of Microsoft or Citigroup and natural gas reserves that would make most OPEC members blush, Gazprom still finds itself with a lot of explaining to do.
The Russian state-controlled natural gas monopoly has openly proclaimed its goal of becoming the world's dominant oil and gas company, and in the process it has raised hackles everywhere, from neighboring Ukraine to the boardrooms of major international oil companies and the capitals of Europe and the United States.
It has jacked up gas prices to once-subsidized neighboring countries, pressured U.S. and European companies for stakes in overseas projects and pipelines, blocked access to its pipeline network in order to leverage its way into existing exploration deals and shelved a prized gas project because it wasn't satisfied with foreign bids.
Now the company is seeking to polish its image in the United States, where it has a small office in Houston looking for investment opportunities. Moreover, among the biggest Gazprom shareholders are U.S.-based emerging-market mutual funds.
This week, the company's deputy chairman, Alexander Medvedev, will attend a hockey game between a Gazprom-sponsored team and former Boston Bruins players. Yesterday he spoke at a U.S.-Russia Business Council luncheon at the exclusive Metropolitan Club here. And on Monday he delivered a speech at Harvard Business School about whether energy can be a bridge between the United States and Russia.
But there hasn't been much construction work on that bridge, one energy company executive quipped. And recently Gazprom has come under fire for using its Russian state-backed muscle to expand beyond its core business into areas from real estate and hotels to media, petrochemical and oil deals while neglecting its own massive natural gas business.
In a report issued Monday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris called the expansion of state ownership a "step back" for Russia's economy. "Of particular concern is the state-owned gas monopolist OAO Gazprom's seemingly insatiable appetite for asset acquisitions, often at the expense of a focus on its core business," the report said. "At the same time, the absence of any significant steps to restructure the gas industry as a whole constrains the growth of other producers even as concern about the sustainability of Russian gas supply is growing."
Gazprom has responded to growing criticism by unveiling a $40 billion investment program devoted solely to bringing on new gas production in the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia. But yesterday, Russia's government put off a plan to boost subsidized domestic natural gas prices to world market levels over the next five to 10 years, a move that would increase revenues for Gazprom and tame Russia's surging domestic demand.
"We are not an instrument of policy because it cannot comply with our commercial structure," Medvedev said in an interview yesterday.
But ever since a contract dispute with Ukraine led to a cutoff of Russian gas exports on New Year's Day, Europeans who rely heavily on Russian gas have worried about security of supply. Russia, meanwhile, has argued that Gazprom needs to expand into the European and U.S. distribution business to assure Russia of "security of demand."
Many experts say that Gazprom is unwieldy and poorly run and will have trouble meeting gas delivery obligations regardless of the politics of supply. Vladimir Milov, president of the Institute of Energy Policy in Moscow and former deputy energy minister, said yesterday that Gazprom had spent $18 billion in the past three years on acquisitions outside the gas sector, more than it has spent in the past decade to increase gas production.
Gazprom's relatively flat gas output was no surprise, Milov said. "To grow, you have to invest," he said. As long as Gazprom was a monopoly, he added, it would have little incentive to bolster production in Russia. "Monopolies are motivated to conquer new markets, not to develop markets already conquered."
When Gazprom does invest, it often does so inefficiently. Much of the company's recent spending has gone to building new pipelines and repairing aging ones. Yet one study Milov quoted said that every mile of new pipeline built by Gazprom costs two to three times as much as those built in the rest of the world.
Gazprom's Medvedev defended the company's non-gas ventures, calling the newspaper it bought, Pravda, a "pure commercial decision" and not a tactic for controlling public opinion. He said many of the non-energy ventures were being managed by Gazprombank.
Moreover, he said the company would meet its gas commitments thanks to the new capital spending and anticipated dampening of Russian demand as higher prices kick in. "We will invest as much as necessary to develop our upstream business, transport business, and to diversify our activity," he said.
Minsk Soft Drinks Plant wins five awards at international contest in Moscow
Drinking water Minskaya and soft drink Kvasych na Medu (honey-based kvass) were awarded gold medals in the nomination Best Mineral and Drinking Water, while Carbonated Birch Tree Juice was awarded a gold medal and the contest’s grand prix.
Besides, the company’s Ice Tea drink was named the Best Brand of the Year.
The commission also gave a special quality prize for the European level of production of mineral water Minskaya-4.
On the whole, the contest gathered over 70 companies. Awards were given out by a professional tasting team, which consisted of highly qualified specialists from Russia and other countries.
Minsk Soft Drinks Plant is Belarus’ largest producer of mineral and drinking waters, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages. The choice of available products includes over 80 titles. The company can turn out around 480,000 PET bottles daily. The design and production management system is certified for compliance with international requirements ISO 9001-2001.
Minsk Soft Drinks Plant was created in 1966. The company employs around 500 people.
GEORGE BUSH EMBARASSES AMERICA AGAIN
From: Mike's Vacation
The Charter '97 article was short, but ironic. At the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia George Bush met with Alexander Milinkevich, called by Charter '97 "the leader of the democratic forces of Belarus". Perhaps in Charter '97s eyes 14% of the popular vote makes you a leader, maybe 1% of the vote would have also made Milinkevich a leader by those standards.
Bush's flagship statement for this meeting was "we stand together with the Belarusian nation in its fight for freedom." I am sorry to remind President Bush of three important facts.
Number one, The October Revolution was a "fight for freedom".
Number two, The Patriotic War aka WW2 was a "fight for freedom".
Number three, There is no current fight for freedom going on in Belarus because unlike America, Belarus has a good president that the people are proud of.
If there is any fighting over Belarus right now, it is in the minds of the CIA and the State Department as they fight for ways to bring unrest and turmoil to this peaceful and self sufficient country. It must be a fight to devise ways of tricking 10.34 million people into destroying their collective assesets and adopting methods of life that are neither more economicly equitable for all people, or generally safter and better, such as our own methods in America, or the methods we have forced upon our newest friends, the Iraqis.
Perhaps that is the fighting Bush is referring to. This story actually takes a few more twists and turns when you consider the following ironic facts.
Apparantly, Milinkevitch was presented to Bush by Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga. Prsident Freiberga's claim to humanitarian greatness is that he at one time considered combining the day of the SS march with the national memorial holiday.
It seems Latvia is the only country in all of Europe to host annual SS vetran processions commerating the day the divisions were formed.
This isn't George Bush's first meeting with President Vike-Freiberga. On Bush's earlier visit his itenerary included a visit to the Freedom Monument, where SS Leigon Gruppenfuher Rudolf Bangerski's remains were CERIMONIOUSLY re-burried in 1995. I would encourage everyone to read Mark Ane's article entitled "BUSH'S BITBURG?" located at www.thenation.com/doc/20050523/ames
But back to Bush and Milenkevitch, since everyone at this tea party of gentle souls is so concerned with "democracy", I wonder if Milenkevitch questioned Bush about the fate of the POWs and kidnap victims in Iraq and Cuba? I wonder if Milenkevich asked Bush how he would have handle modern Belaurian partisans if he was to attempt a criminal invasion of Belarus similar to his invasion of Iraq? As Belarus is clearly a nation partisans this should be a logical question for Milenkevich to ask Bush.
I wonder if Milenkevich attempted to discuss with Latvian President Vike-Freiberga the civil rights and legal status of the 500,000 ethnic Russians living as stateless persons in Latvia? I would think this subject would be of interest to Milenkevich as he speaks the same language as the Russians, and does he not consider these Russians to be his breathern on some level?
I am comforted to know these quality friends have gotten together to discuss Belarusian democracy.
Lets go over this cast of characters:
1) George Bush - The man resonsible for the condition of the Iraqi people, and leader of the "free" world.
2) The good Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freberga, Proud protector of the stateless Russian Minority and nazi protector.
3) Alexander Milinkevich, Who recently lost the Belarusian presidential election by a landslide and then assisted by our own CIA attempted to start a revolution in his home country. When this CIA sponsored revolution didn't work, Alexander went on tour through Europe petitioning the EU to impose economic sanctions on his countrymen as a reward for their voting their conscience.
So, we have assembled the dream team of democracy here. Impressive.
There are some things the reader should investigate for themselves, such as where the Bush family got is money in the begining. If you are interested in learning about this I suggest reading "How Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler Rise To Power" by Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington.
I shouldn't inform the reader of the fact that 1,600 Belarusian Nazis were smuggled illegally into the US in the 50's, escaping war crimes prosecution.
I will let you decide whether or not these characters have any influence over the modern republican party, and likely the Belarusian Diaspora in America as well. You can decide that for yourself.
But none of this should bother you, because in Riga, Latvia today, at the NATO summit, George Bush stated " we stand together with the Belarusian Nation for freedom".
Once again, I am embarrassed, mortified, and offended!
You the reader now know what a sickening, horrifying, and darkly ironic spectacle this must have been.
Greenpeace against nuclear power plant
From: Belarus News and facts
Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 05 December 2006
The Russian branch of the Greenpeace international environmental organization has vowed support for Belarusian opponents of the construction of a nuclear power plant.
Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia told that the group would not be able to launch a large-scale campaign against the project since it could campaign in Russia only but would help every opponent of the plant who would apply to it for assistance. "We will provide advice, share our experience, which is very big. We will render moral support to ensure that Belarus will avoid this mistake, this risky scenario. We will work with everybody who will apply to us," Mr. Chuprov said. He however noted that Greenpeace Russia would still try to find ways of campaigning against the construction of the plant in Belarus. He said that the group might conduct a campaign within the framework of the Belarusian-Russian Union State.
According to Mr. Chuprov, Greenpeace Russia would try to talk out future investors of funding the project. He said that previous such attempts by the group were sometimes a success, citing the move by Deutsche Bank to withdraw from the Bulgarian Belene nuclear power plant project following international protests.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said the previous week that Belarus has no alternative but to build a nuclear power plant to ensure its energy security. He sought to assuage public fears of nuclear energy, saying that Belarus was surrounded by nuclear plants in neighboring Russia and Ukraine anyway.
The government expects the first unit of the plant to be put into operation in 2013.
47th Day of Hunger Strike: Alyaksandr Kazulin Won’t Stop Hunger Strike
From: Charter '97
Today Iryna Kazulina has visited the colony No.3 in Vitsebsk, where her husband, a for5mer candidiate for presidency Alyaksandr Kazulin, is continuing a hunger strike for the 47th day. The meeting of Iryna with her husband lasted for only 30 minutes. In this short period of time she was trying Alyaksandr Kazulin to stop the protest which is becoming a threat to his health and life. However, as Iryna Kazulina says to the Charter’97, the political prisoner is not going to stop the hunger strike until his major demand, to discuss the situation with human rights in Belarus in the UN Security Council.
Alyaksandr Kazulin has lost 40 kg over the 8 months of detention. His weight was 105 kilograms before the arrest.
“Alyaksandr looks awful; he is very hunger-bitten. However, the state of his health is satisfactory, he has no complaints. His speech is clear, and he stays energetic. He is not going to stop the hunger strike. He says his demand is not fulfilled,” Iryna Akzulina said.
As said by Iryna Kazulina, the political prisoner is still refuses to be hospitalized to the medical unit of the colony. Moreover, Alyaksandr Kazulin refuses to go to the republican prison hospital in Minsk. He says that he wants to continue the protest in the colony.
The former candidate for presidency has been exempted from work; he is weak and spends much time outdoors.
Today Iryna Kazulina is to address the Political Council of the United democratic forces of Belarus with an appeal to send an address to the UN Security Council and ask to fulfil the demand of the Belarusian political prisoner and to consider the Belarusian issue.
“Alyaksandr asked to pass on his great gratitude to all people who are supporting him, who write letters, who worry about him and pray for him. It is of a real help for him,” Iryna Kazulina said.
Soccer - FC Indiana signs international partnership agreement
From: Sport Features
FC Indiana (USA) and FK Universitet Vitebsk (Belarus) have agreed to a five year, ‘player and team exchanges, marketing cooperation, and technical assistance’ agreement according to FK Universitet Vitebsk Women’s Football Director Andrey Golubev and FC Indiana Director of Operations Anton Maksimov.
Officials from both clubs said they believe the partnership will have "unlimited potential," and added that the pairing will create competitive opportunities for youth and senior players, and create marketing opportunities for both organizations.
Anton Maksimov, said, “Belarus’ women’s soccer is experiencing unprecedented growth and improvement. FK Vitebsk are 2006 league and cup winners in Belarus, and they have done well in the UEFA Cup. The women’s game is entering a period of tremendous upward change world wide and in order for us to stay competitive, we must develop and maintain global presence and visibility.”
Andrey Golubev, FK Universitet Vitebsk, continued, “We are extremely excited about this partnership. This agreement will allow both clubs to maximize benefits and opportunities that can be realized through the establishment of a long-term relationship and which will go on to strengthen both of our clubs.”