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Nov 30, 2011

Two condemned to death for Belarus metro bombing

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus, the only European country still to carry out state executions, on Wednesday sentenced two men to death for a bomb attack at a metro station in Minsk which killed 15 people and wounded scores of others.

Rights organizations had urged authorities in the ex-Soviet republic not to impose the death sentence on factory workers Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov, both 25, arguing that their two-month trial had not met international standards.

Nov 24, 2011

Belarus jails rights activist for tax evasion

MINSK (Reuters) – A Belarussian court on Thursday jailed leading human rights activist Ales Belyatsky for 4 1/2 years on tax evasion charges, sparking an outcry in the European Union and particularly in EU neighboring countries which unwittingly aided his prosecution.

Belyatsky, 49, heads Vesna-96, the best known rights group in the former Soviet republic, which has campaigned for scores of opposition activists prosecuted by the government of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Oct 18, 2011

IMF tells Belarus fresh credit depends on reform

MINSK, Oct 17 (Reuters) –
The International Monetary Fund on Monday stressed the need to
restrain wage growth in Belarus and said the leadership of
President Alexander Lukashenko would have to show clear
commitment to reform if it hoped to secure new IMF credit.

The ex-Soviet republic is in the grip of a severe financial
crisis which has drained its foreign currency reserves, forced a
65 percent devaluation in the national currency and pushed
inflation up to 75 percent in the year to date.

Jul 6, 2011

Lukashenko nears crunch time, says Belarus opposition

MINSK (Reuters) – A Belarus opposition leader says the country’s plight is so grave that protests against President Alexander Lukashenko will spread to his core supporters in factories and small and medium-sized business by the end of the year.

Vladimir Neklyayev, one of the few opposition leaders at liberty since a police crackdown on anti-Lukashenko protests after elections last December, foresees an autumn of discontent as the financial crisis begins to bite.

Jun 30, 2011

Belarus pledges to unify exchange rates, sell assets

MINSK, June 30 (Reuters) – Crisis-hit Belarus vowed on
Thursday to eliminate the black currency market by the end of
this year after patching up its current account with loans and
privatisation receipts .

Among the assets that the former Soviet republic plans to
sell is its main cash cow, potash miner Belaruskali, as well as
truck maker BelAZ, First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko

Jun 29, 2011

China pays more in new potash deal with Russia, Belarus

YEKATERINBURG, Russia/MINSK, June 29 (Reuters) – Belarusian
Potash Company, the agent for Uralkali and
Belaruskali, has sold potash to two Chinese fertiliser importers
at prices $70 a tonne higher than in the first half.

The contract, for 500,000 tonnes and an option for 200,000
tonnes, priced the deliveries at $470 on a cost-and-freight

Jun 22, 2011

Belarus police crack down on Minsk protest

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus riot police detained scores of demonstrators at a protest rally against President Alexander Lukashenko in the centre of the capital Minsk on Wednesday night.

A Reuters reporter at the scene in the city centre said Belarussian special forces had rounded up dozens of people and put them into police buses.

Jun 17, 2011

Belarus leader rejects reforms to end crisis

MINSK, June 17 (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko promised on Friday to resolve a deepening financial
crisis within several months but announced no concrete steps and
said the country needed to be ready for a “catastrophe”.

In a marathon five-hour news conference, the authoritarian
leader shifted tack repeatedly, varying defiance in the face of
criticism from the West with offers of diplomatic concessions in
exchange for much-needed loans.

Jun 14, 2011

China boosts CIS role with $1 bln Belarus deal

MINSK, June 14 (Reuters) – China boosted its presence in the
ex-Soviet bloc’s commodities sector on Tuesday by lending over
$1 billion to Belarus just a day after signing two large deals
in Kazakhstan, another former Soviet republic.

A bulk of funds provided to Belarus will be used to build a
cellulose plant which may then export its produce to China, the
Belarussian government said, while Monday’s Kazakh deals
included a loan to a major copper producer.

Jun 10, 2011

Russia’s Uralkali says may do a deal with Belaruskali

MINSK, June 10 (Reuters) – Russian potash miner Uralkali
said it is considering doing a deal with the state-owned
Belarussian fertiliser firm Belaruskali, which has been valued
by Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko at $30 billion.

Uralkali said in a statement it was “considering entering
into a transaction with Belaruskali”, and may lend its trading
partner $1 billion as part of any deal.