Andrei's Feed
Jun 8, 2011

Belarus slashes fuel price rise after protests

MINSK, June 8 (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko, responding to rare public protests, on Wednesday
slashed a big rise in fuel prices announced only the previous
day.

Mounting discontent over soaring consumer prices against the
backdrop of a currency crisis is putting political pressure on
authoritarian Lukashenko who has run the country since 1994,
maintaining a Soviet-style government-dominated economy.

May 27, 2011

Belarus leader attacks key creditor Russia

MINSK, May 27 (Reuters) – President Alexander Lukashenko
warned key creditor Russia on Friday that Belarus would not sell
off state assets cheaply to secure an emergency loan, and said
Russian media should be expelled for sowing “hysteria” about his
currency.

The comments could jeopardise Minsk’s plans to secure $3
billion from a Russian-led bailout fund next week and deepen a
currency crisis that threatens to overwhelm the former Soviet
republic, which also faced a fresh debt rating setback.

May 26, 2011

Belarus jails two more Lukashenko opponents

MINSK (Reuters) – A court in Belarus Thursday sentenced two political opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko to prison terms for organizing a mass protest against his re-election last December.

The move is likely to trigger new economic sanctions from Western governments at a time when Belarus is struggling with a financial crisis. But Lukashenko Wednesday hinted that he may pardon convicted opposition figures in what analysts said would be an attempt to rebuild relations.

May 19, 2011

Russia presses Belarus to sell assets as ruble slides

MINSK, May 19 (Reuters) – Russia urged Belarus on Thursday
to sell off state assets in order to secure a credit lifeline
from a Moscow-led bailout fund as a currency crisis deepened
in the former Soviet republic.

Belarus could raise $7.5 billion to $9.0 billion from
privatisation in the next two to three years to supplement a
proposed $3.5 billion bailout loan, Russian Finance Minister
Alexei Kudrin said.

May 14, 2011

Lukashenko opponent jailed for 5 years in Belarus

MINSK (Reuters) – One of President Alexander Lukashenko’s main political opponents was sentenced on Saturday to five years in a high-security jail after being convicted of helping to organize a rally against the leader’s re-election.

Andrei Sannikov, a former deputy foreign minister and co-founder of the Charter 97 rights group, was found guilty of organizing mass disturbances, a charge he had denied.

May 11, 2011

Russia refuses to bail out wayward ally Belarus

MOSCOW/MINSK, May 11 (Reuters) – Russia refused to provide a
bailout loan to ally Belarus on Wednesday, telling it to
privatise state assets and seek help from the IMF, which in turn
urged it to speed through reforms to overcome a currency crisis.

The Russian snub came in spite of Belarus’ decision on
Wednesday to ease restrictions on the foreign currency exchange
rate, which Moscow had asked for, and raise the central bank’s
refinancing rate by 100 basis points.

Apr 22, 2011

Belarus currency crisis deepens with central bank U-turn

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus’ currency crisis deepened on Friday as interbank foreign exchange trading ground to a halt, participants said, following a policy U-turn on valuations from the central bank.

The bank, battling to restore confidence in the country’s depreciating rouble, said on Tuesday it would allow the currency to float on the interbank market, taking a step towards a full-scale devaluation.

Apr 22, 2011

Belarus currency crisis deepens with cbank U-turn

MINSK, April 22 (Reuters) – Belarus’ currency crisis
deepened on Friday as interbank foreign exchange trading ground
to a halt, participants said, following a policy U-turn on
valuations from the central bank.

The bank, battling to restore confidence in the country’s
depreciating rouble, said on Tuesday it would allow the currency
to float on the interbank market, taking a step towards a
full-scale devaluation.

Apr 21, 2011

Belarus’s Lukashenko vows to smash “fifth column”

MINSK (Reuters) – President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday that Belarus was assailed from all sides by external enemies and threatened to smash any “fifth column” after the country’s currency lost a third of its value.

In an annual state of the nation speech four months after his flawed re-election, Lukashenko sought to rally people behind him after a deadly bomb attack and a currency crisis that threatens living standards.

Apr 21, 2011

Belarus’s Lukashenko vows to destroy “fifth column”

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, speaking after a deadly bombing in Minsk and with the country in the grip of a currency crisis, vowed on Thursday to destroy any “fifth column” opposed to his rule.

“We will destroy any fifth or 25th column and this does not make us a dictatorship,” he said in an annual state of the nation speech.