Belarus Review Daily – September 3, 2020

Belarus Review Daily – September 3, 2020

Your daily insight into Belarus crisis (delivered Monday to Friday)

Sergei Grits, AP/TASS
03.09.2020 iSANS
  1. POLITICAL ACTIVITY AND ECONOMY
  2. INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
  3. REPRESSIONS CONTINUE

POLITICAL ACTIVITY AND ECONOMY

“The pressure of the security agencies on business and civil society can lead to the destruction of the economy and the loss of the country’s independence”, – the Coordination Council reacted to repressions against IT businessmen.

Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin arrived in Minsk on Thursday morning. Almost half of the Russian government came with him, including: Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Chernyshenko and Alexei Averchuk, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova and Sports Minister Oleg Matytsyn, as well as Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.

Upon the meeting, Mikhail Mishustin announced that Russia and Belarus have managed to agree on energy prices. He added that Belarus and Russia will work on the export of oil products through Russian seaports. Nevertheless, no details were provided.

Lukashenka, in his turn, claimed that his team has intercepted a conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish President Andrzej Duda. Lukashenka said that Merkel stated the poisoning of Alexei Navalny was staged in order for Putin to not interfere in the Belarusian affairs. The German officials later announced that this information was not truth.

The talks with Russia are causing much concern among the citizens of Belarus who continue to protest for new elections and Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation for 4 weeks so far. The leader of the protesters, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is now in Lithuania, commented on Lukashenka’s meetings with the Russian government: “I have always said and repeated that the sovereignty cannot be negotiated or bargained for. I doubt that any decisions and agreements that Lukashenka may sign will be recognized by the new government. The reason for this is well known: the people refused to trust Lukashenka”.

Dozens of journalists gathered in front of the Ministry of Interior to protest illegal arrests of their colleagues and obstacles that are being created by the police to obstruct professional obligations of media workers in Belarus.

Pavel Latushka, a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council, held a series of meetings with politicians and high-ranking officials in Poland on September 2-3. Latushka met with representatives of the executive and legislative branches of power in Poland. Among other issues, mediation by the European Union in finding a way out of the crisis, was discussed. The representatives of the Polish authorities stressed the importance of resolving internal political situation in Belarus in the interests of the Belarusian society.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka has announced changes in various state security agencies. Vyachaslau Rasalai became the deputy chairman of the military-industrial committee, the former head of the KGB Valery Vakulchik became the head of the Security Council of Belarus. The former chairman of the State Control Committee (SCC), Ivan Tertsel, became the chairman of the KGB. The first deputy chairman of the SCC Vasily Gerasimov will become the chairman of this department. The destiny of Andrei Raukou who chaired the Security Council of Belarus until Thursday, remains unknown yet. There are talks about the upcoming expelling of the Belarusian ambassador.

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee and an unregistered human rights center Viasna sent an appeal to the UN Committee against Torture to conduct an investigation into the systematic use of torture against 47 people in Belarus .

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

The Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas ha a phone call with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The situation in Belarus was discussed among other issues.

Lukashenka again accused Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Ukraine of running the protests in the country. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba reacted. Belarus ambassador in Kyiv was informed that if unfriendly actions of Belarus will continue and the risks for Ukraine will grow, Kiev is ready to take tough steps against acting Belarusian authorities.

The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (a conference of the presidents of the 33 Roman Catholic episcopal conferences of Europe) condemn non-admission of Archibishops Kandrusiewich’s to Belarus. The leader of Belarusian Catholics wasn’t allowed into Belarus earlier this week.

The “Belarusian Solidarity Fund” / BySol (based in the Netherlands) is now using bitcoins to pay compensation to Belarusians dismissed for their active civil position and / or for participating in protests against Lukashenka, unfair elections, or police violence.

REPRESSIONS CONTINUE

On Thursday, a 16-year-old Timur who was severely beaten by OMON on August 12-13 and spent some time in coma after he was hospitalized, was brought for an interrogation in a criminal case on mass riots. The child who was reportedly badly tortured and raped by OMON, was brought to the police station without his parents or a lawyer.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 24 people (including 3 students) were detained on Wednesday. Detentions happened on Thursday again.

In Mahiliou, a civil activist Vital Shatalau was on his way to the Investigative Committee, where he planned to file an application to initiate a criminal case for torture that took place against him in the Leninski district police department when he was detained again by OMON and was taken to the Leninski district police department.

Vital Kuvshynau, one of PandaDoc top managers, is now subject to criminal case for alleged theft by abuse of power, as claimed by the state. Lukashenka’s regime provides poor details on the matter.

Best regards,

iSANS team

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