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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
MINSK, April 20 (Reuters) – The Belarussian rouble BYR=
lost more than a third of its value against the dollar on
Wednesday after the central bank introduced a free floating
exchange rate for trade between banks.
The development starkly highlighted the currency problems of
the ex-Soviet republic and amounted to a setback for President
Alexander Lukashenko who was due on Thursday to deliver his
annual state of the nation speech.
MINSK (Reuters) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ordered security forces on Wednesday to question local “political actors” — a reference to the opposition — over a metro station bomb attack which killed 12 people.
Lukashenko also congratulated security officials for netting two suspects for Tuesday’s bombing, which also injured 150 people at the station in the center of the capital Minsk.