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Apr 20, 2011

Belarus rouble plunges in setback for Lukashenko

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.

Apr 13, 2011

Belarus opposition to be quizzed over bomb: Lukashenko

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.

Apr 12, 2011

Belarus hunts culprits after deadly metro bomb

MINSK (Reuters) – Police in Belarus carried out spot checks on roads and at stations and airports on Tuesday after a bomb blast tore through a crowded metro station in the capital Minsk on Monday evening, killing at least 12 people.

As police hunted those responsible for what appeared to have been a bomb activated by remote control, a top official from the prosecutor general’s office described the attack as an act of “terrorism”, unprecedented in Belarus.

Apr 12, 2011

Belarus Lukashenko sees plot after blast kills 11

MINSK (Reuters) – President Alexander Lukashenko said that a blast that tore through a crowded metro station in the Belarus capital Minsk in evening rush hour killing 11 people was an attempt to destabilize the country.

As police placed the capital on high alert, Lukashenko, the autocratic leader who has led the ex-Soviet country since 1994, linked the explosion to a previous unsolved blast in 2008, saying: “These are perhaps links in a single chain.”

Apr 11, 2011

Blast at Belarus metro station, 7 dead

MINSK (Reuters) – A blast hit a crowded metro station in the center of the Belarusian capital Minsk during the evening rush hour Monday and police said seven people had been killed and about 50 injured.

The state news agency BelTA said the blast occurred at 5.55 p.m. (11:55 a.m. ET) at the metro station Oktyabrskaya on a square of the same name about 100 meters (yards) from the administration building of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Apr 8, 2011

Belarus seeks to sell stake in MTS mobile phone JV

MINSK/MOSCOW, April 8 (Reuters) – Belarus intends to sell
its 51 percent stake in its local mobile phone joint venture
with MTS (MBT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Russia’s biggest mobile telecoms company, a
Belarussian deputy prime minister told the state news agency.

MTS has said it is interested in buying out its partner in
the venture, but talks foundered on price, which President
Alexander Lukashenko has put at $1 billion.

Mar 31, 2011

Belarus says no devaluation or new FX limits for now

MINSK, March 31 (Reuters) – Belarus’ central bank on
Thursday ruled out a sharp further rouble devaluation or any
additional foreign exchange restrictions as the authorities
expected to secure Russian financial aid soon.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Rumas suggested a de
facto 10 percent devaluation in the rouble BYR=, announced
this week, was not enough, indicating there were disagreements
among senior officials on how to deal with an acute shortage of
foreign currency.

Mar 31, 2011

Belarus says no new FX limits for now -source

MINSK, March 31 (Reuters) – Belarus has brought in a 20-30
day moratorium on changing foreign exchange regulations or
devaluing the rouble, expecting to secure Russian financial aid
by then, a banking source said on Thursday.

Analysts say a de facto 10 percent rouble BYR= devaluation
announced this week was not enough to support the former Soviet
republic’s economy. Talks with Russia on $3 billion in aid may
take longer than Minsk expects as Moscow wants to see a
comprehensive action plan.

Mar 22, 2011

Belarus halts cash forex sales

MINSK, March 22 (Reuters) – Belarus’s central bank has
halted foreign currency sales to local banks in a bid to save
dwindling reserves, the bank said on Tuesday.

The former Soviet republic is running out of foreign
currency reserves due to a large trade deficit, earlier
overspending by the government and high demand for cash dollars
and euros among the population. [ID:nLDE72E0IA]

Feb 17, 2011

Belarus election protester sentenced to four years

MINSK (Reuters) – Belarus, in a speedy one-day trial, Thursday sentenced an opposition activist to four years in a top-security jail for his part in a rally against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko last December.

Vasily Parfenkov, 27, was the first to be tried of about 30 people being held after a police crackdown on the December 19 protest in the ex-Soviet republic that has triggered Western sanctions against Lukashenko.