Andrei's Feed
Dec 14, 2010

Lukashenko coasts to re-election, West, Russia squirm

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko is assured of securing a fourth term in power next Sunday, defying the West which has tried to moderate his often harsh rule and Russian attempts to call him to heel.

On past performance, the 56-year-old former state farm director, who has run ex-Soviet Belarus as a command economy since 1994, could get as much as 80 percent of the vote. Like before, opposition groups are likely to allege electoral fraud.

Oct 16, 2010

Venezuela inks oil deal with Belarus

MINSK (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez agreed on Saturday to supply the former Soviet republic of Belarus with 30 million tonnes of oil over three years from 2011 in a deal worth as much as $19.4 billion.

Belarus has slashed imports of Russian Urals blend oil and increased purchases from Venezuela since Moscow imposed export duties, a step that raised the price of Russian exports to Belarus by about 36 percent.

Oct 16, 2010

Venezuela inks oil deal with Belarus–Chavez

MINSK, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
agreed on Saturday to supply the former Soviet republic of
Belarus with 30 million tonnes of oil over three years from 2011
in a deal worth as much as $19.4 billion.

Belarus has slashed imports of Russian Urals blend oil and
increased purchases from Venezuela since Moscow imposed export
duties, a step that raised the price of Russian exports to
Belarus by about 36 percent.

Aug 25, 2010

Analysis – Belarus flirts with China, chilly on market reform

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus is likely to give few clues at least until after upcoming presidential elections on whether it will seek much-needed foreign investment elsewhere or concentrate on its strongly developing links with China.

The former Soviet state of Belarus, struggling to reduce its dependence on Russia and unwilling to bring in the sweeping reforms demanded by Western investors, saw its economy grow by a mere 0.2 percent in 2009, down from 10.0 percent a year earlier, according to IMF figures.

Aug 13, 2010

Belarus leader lashes out at Moscow, seeks US ties

MINSK, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Belarus’s outspoken leader
Alexander Lukashenko, long at odds with the West but lately
quarreling with Moscow, said on Friday he wanted better ties
with the United States and berated his estranged ally Russia.

Lukashenko, criticised in the West over human rights, had
once pledged to build a “union state” that would combine Belarus
with Russia, but his relations with Moscow are now at a new low
as Moscow has cut economic subsidies to its Slav neighbour.

Jun 27, 2010

Belarus leader says Russia ties to survive gas war

MINSK, June 27 (Reuters) – This week’s gas war between
Russia and Belarus will not cause a lasting split between the
long-time allies but will boost Minsk’s search for alternative
gas suppliers, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

A dispute over gas payments and transit debts triggered a
stand-off between the ex-Soviet neighbours this week and
resulted in Russia briefly cutting gas supplies to Belarus,
which in turn halted onward transit to the EU.

Jun 25, 2010

Belarus rekindles Russian gas spat

MOSCOW, June 25 (Reuters) – Tensions over gas between Russia
and Belarus flared up again on Friday with Minsk saying it could
still halt Russian flows to Europe within 24 hours as it holds
out for payment of a small debt which Moscow denies it owes.

The spat burst back into life just a day after Minsk fully
resumed gas supplies to neighbouring EU members after a partial
suspension on Wednesday in a gas pricing and fee dispute with
Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research).

Jun 23, 2010

Belarus threatens to halt Russia oil,gas exports

MOSCOW, June 23 (Reuters) – Belarus threatened on Wednesday
to halt all Russian oil and gas flows across its soil to Europe
if Moscow does not repay a debt for gas transit, raising the
stakes in a row the EU said was an attack on the whole bloc.

“I demand that Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) pay $260 million to
Beltransgaz by 10:00 (0700 GMT) tomorrow,” First Deputy Prime
Minister Vladimir Semashko said, referring to Russia’s gas
export monopoly and Belarus’s gas infrastructure company.

Jun 22, 2010

Belarus cuts Russia gas transit, EU says affected

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus moved to cut the transit of Russian gas to Europe on Tuesday in a debt spat with Moscow, with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko calling it a “gas war” echoing Russia’s 2009 quarrel with Ukraine.

The EU said Lithuania, Poland and Germany had been hit by the gas supply cuts, but Russia said it had no confirmation that gas levels leaving Belarus had been reduced.

Jun 22, 2010

Belarus cuts Russia gas transit, says gas war looms

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus moved to cut the transit of Russian gas to Europe on Tuesday in a debt spat with Moscow, while President Alexander Lukashenko said the two countries faced a “gas war”, an echo of Russia’s 2009 quarrel with Ukraine.

Ukraine in turn promised to ship more Russian gas to Europe to help Moscow plug the potential gap in a move showing Kiev’s commitment to further improve ties with Russia and persuade Moscow not to build new pipelines to bypass Ukraine.